Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by inattention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity that interferes with functioning and development. It’s a very common condition, with about 6 million children diagnosed with it in the US.
Since it’s normal for children to have trouble sitting still or paying attention, it can be hard to know if your child has ADHD or not. At Sima Stein, MD, in San Jose, CA, board-certified pediatrician Dr. Stein can help diagnose your child and, if necessary, work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. Effective treatment can help your child manage their symptoms so they can thrive in and out of school.
Here, Dr. Stein shares some common signs and symptoms of ADHD and how she can help your family if you think your child has this common neurodevelopmental disorder.
Common ADHD signs and symptoms
ADHD looks different for everyone. Some people have more trouble focusing, and others are too active or impulsive. Some have all of these issues. Other symptoms may be more subtle but equally problematic. Signs of ADHD include:
- Excessive fidgeting or squirming
- Forgetting or losing things frequently
- Talking too much in class
- Getting into fights with friends
- Making frequent mistakes on tests
ADHD has similar symptoms to other emotional and behavioral disorders, such as depression and anxiety or a learning disability. Additionally, ADHD is often accompanied by one of these conditions.
One survey found that 6 in 10 children with ADHD had at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder. Part of an ADHD diagnosis is to rule out or identify other conditions.
How your pediatrician can help
The first step is a developmental screening, a series of questionnaires and checklists that ask questions about your child’s language, movement, thinking, behavior, and emotion. Dr. Stein can identify if your child has behavioral or developmental issues that may signal they have ADHD.
In addition to developmental screening, Dr. Stein conducts a family history and screens for associated learning and mental health disorders. If she diagnoses your child with ADHD, she discusses your treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, medication, and ADHD coaching, and makes recommendations for the best course of action.
Based on your child’s age and symptoms, Dr. Stein may prescribe one of the FDA-approved medications for ADHD.
If you think your child has ADHD, contact Sima Stein, MD, by phone or online to make an appointment for a developmental screening.