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You’ve probably heard the term ADHD used to describe overly hyper children or kids who struggle to focus on one thing for very long. While those can be symptoms of ADHD (or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), this condition isn’t just an abundance of energy. It’s one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and can persist into adulthood. However, ADHD is treatable, and your Raleigh Group providers are very experienced when it comes to helping parents manage their children’s ADHD diagnosis and other chronic childhood illnesses.

ADHD vs. ADD - What’s the Difference?

Many people use ADHD and ADD interchangeably in conversation. ADD stands for attention deficit disorder but in 1994 the medical community decided as a whole that all forms of ADD would fall under the designation of ADHD, even if the person didn’t show signs of hyperactivity.

So in short, ADD is a type of ADHD. These days, most doctors will simply refer to the condition as ADHD to avoid confusion.

Types of ADHD in Children

Speaking of types of ADHD, there are three categories that doctors use to characterize the disorder. These groups help medical providers track your children’s development and will make recommendations based on what type of ADHD they have.

  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation - This form of ADHD is characterized by a child’s ability to stay focused, finish a task, remember details of a conversation, or forget daily routines. A child with this type of ADHD may be easily distracted or forgetful.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive Impulse Presentation - When we think of ADHD, this is the type that most people associate with the disorder. Children who struggle with this type of ADHD are hyper, restless, and have difficulty paying attention and sitting still. You may notice that your child is impulsive, always on the move, and tends to be impatient when it comes to taking turns or sharing toys.
  • Combined Presentation - Combined presentation simply means that your child is presenting in both categories and exhibiting symptoms of symptoms like hyperactivity and forgetfulness.

Symptoms of ADHD in Children

Many parents feel that their children are overly energetic. However, for the health and safety of your little ones, it’s important to know the difference between a normal excess of energy and ADHD. In some cases, it may just be that your children aren’t getting enough exercise or have a creative outlet in which they can release their energy. The symptoms your child exhibits usually correlate with the type of ADHD they have.

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Lack of focus
  • Forgetful
  • May have trouble paying attention in class or during homework
  • Disorganized
  • Easily distracted
  • Fidgety
  • Squirms, moves, or has difficulty sitting still
  • Always on the go
  • Overly talkative
  • Difficulty participating in “quiet” activities
  • May interrupt others
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn or sharing
  • Disruptive

For an accurate diagnosis, it’s important to consult your pediatrician.

Causes of ADHD in Children

While the medical community isn’t entirely sure what causes ADHD, we do know that genetic factors play a huge role in a child’s development. Other causes for ADHD in children may be an injury to the brain, lead exposure, or premature birth. Additionally, if a mother practiced poor dietary and life habits such as consuming alcohol or smoking while pregnant, those factors may cause a child to be more predisposed to ADHD.

While pregnant, it’s important to schedule regular visits with your OBGYN, as well as schedule a prenatal visit with your pediatric provider to ensure your baby has the best start in life.

Treating ADHD in Children

Typically, ADHD is treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. However, for young children, teaching parents how to help their children manage their ADHD is always the first step when it comes to treating this condition. In most cases, medication comes second. Scheduling regular well-child visits also goes a long way in monitoring your child’s diagnosis and overall health.

Raleigh Group Understands ADHD

If you’re concerned that your child might have ADHD, we’re here to help. Raleigh Group is your patient-centered medical home and childhood ADHD resource. Our compassionate providers and team members have years of experience treating this condition and will help you develop a plan that’s right for you and your child. To make an appointment, reach out today.