The health care team at Mercy Christian Health strives to provide thorough evaluation of children with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This diagnostic process may include a lengthy evaluation period while efforts are made to gain input from parents, caregivers, daycare personnel and/or school staff. When needed, additional referrals may be made to specialists in pediatric neurology, psychology, psychiatry and/or social work. Once diagnosis has been determined, follow-up and monitoring continues on a long term basis because ADHD is a long term condition.
Early identification and treatment:
Early identification and treatment of ADHD is key to keeping at a minimum, problems that these children are at risk of developing (e.g. drug/alcohol abuse, discipline problems, school dropout, employment problems, trouble with the law, accidental injuries). While there is no cure for ADHD, treatment options can help to control behavior so these children can be productive in school and in other areas of life.
Sometimes ADHD can be mistaken for other problems. Depending on the subtype of ADHD, it could also be seen with other conditions. Some children are diagnosed during elementary school but others not until high school. Often a school nurse or teachers are the first to bring up their concerns and suggest evaluation.
The health care team of Thorrez Medical Practice aims to partner with the patient/family, as well as other health care professionals involved in the case. Our goal is to provide evaluation, treatment, guidance and necessary referrals. We also collaborate with school nurses and teachers to provide recommendations for school success, as the child transitions through the diagnostic process and beyond.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) &
the American Psychiatric Association (APA): "High activity levels and short attention spans are a normal part of childhood for many children, but for those with ADHD, hyperactivity and inattentiveness are excessive and interfere with daily functioning. Some children with ADHD only have problems with attention; other children only have issues with hyperactivity and impulsivity; some children have problems with both. Over time, children with ADHD tend to shed some of the overactivity and impulsivity, but they often continue to have significant problems with inattention, distraction and organization. There are three types of ADHD: primary inattentive, primary hyperactive/impulsive and combined subtype (significant symptoms of both)."
According to the National Institute of Mental Health children who have symptoms of inattention may:
*Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things and frequently switch from one activity to another.
*Have difficulty focusing on one thing.
*Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable.
*Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new.
*Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments.
*Often lose things (pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities.
*Do not seem to listen when spoken to.
*Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly.
*Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others.
*Struggle to follow instructions.
Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
*Fidget and squirm in their seats.
*Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight.
*Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school and story time.
*Be constantly in motion.
*Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
*Be very impatient.
*Blurt out inappropriate comments and show their emotions without restraint.
*Act without regard for consequences.
*Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turn in games.
*Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.