ADHD - Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Facts to Know:
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood and can last into adulthood.
- ADHD can interfere with a child’s ability to thrive in school, follow rules and develop and maintain relationships and last into adulthood.
- Stimulant medications are the most effective treatment for ADHD.
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
About 7-11% of children ages 4 to 17 have at some point being diagnosed with ADHD. There is no single cause for ADHD, but factors such as low birthweight, lead exposure in childhood, and cigarette smoke, alcohol, or pesticide exposure during fetal development may contribute to the development of ADHD. There are three types of ADHD; predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined presentation. ADHD is more common in males than in females.
In children and adolescents with ADHD there is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that interferes with their daily activities and development. Many of these symptoms are present before age 12 years.
Inattention: (at least 6 of the following symptoms for at least 6 months)
- Failure to pay close attention to details or frequently making careless mistakes.
- Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores.
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
- Avoids or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
- Losing things necessary for tasks or activities.
- Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
- Forgetful in daily activities
Hyperactivity and impulsivity: (at least 6 of the following symptoms for at least 6 months)
- Fidgets with or taps hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Runs about or climbs in situations where it is inappropriate.
- Is unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly. Is often “on the go,” acting as if “driven by a motor.”
- Talks excessively.
- Blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Has difficulty waiting his or her turn.
- Interrupts or intrudes on others.
A diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is best made by a mental health professional such as a therapist, psychiatrist or neuropsychologist. Often, children and adolescents with ADHD have difficulties in school and may require evaluation by a neuropsychologist to be eligible for additional academic support. Learn more about neuropsychological evaluations.
There are evidenced-based behavioral treatments for ADHD including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Parent Training and Child-Focused treatment. Our therapists and psychiatrists are trained in the latest therapy modalities and can help you determine if therapy is right for you.
Medications are an important component of treatment in ADHD. Here at ColumbiaDoctors, our psychiatrists combine a thorough evaluation of each individual’s problems with the latest research to design a customized treatment plan.
How Can I Receive Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at Columbia?
At ColumbiaDoctors, we provide the full array of treatments for ADHD for children, adolescents, and adults.
Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD.
To make an appointment, please call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.
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