ADHD in Children (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- ADHD in children facts
- What is ADHD?
- What are causes and risk factors for ADHD in children?
- What are symptoms and signs of ADHD in children?
- How do physicians diagnose ADHD in children?
- What are the treatments and possible side effects of medications for ADHD in children?
- What are complications and the prognosis of ADHD in children?
- Is it possible to prevent ADHD in children?
- What is the latest research on ADHD in children?
- Are there support groups for children with ADHD?
- Where can people find more information on ADHD in children?
- ADHD FAQs
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are causes and risk factors for ADHD in children?
Although there is no single cause for ADHD, there are a number of biological, environmental and social factors that seem to increase the risk of a person developing the disorder. Brain imaging studies show that the brains of people with ADHD tend to be smaller, the connections between certain parts of the brain are fewer, and the regulation of the neurochemical dopamine tends to be less than in people who have the disorder.
Risk factors for ADHD that can occur in the womb include maternal stress, as well as smoking during pregnancy and low weight at birth. Being male and having a family history of ADHD increase the likelihood that an individual is diagnosed with ADHD. Socially, low family income and low paternal education are risk factors for developing ADHD.
What are symptoms and signs of ADHD in children?
Symptoms of ADHD include the following:
- Often makes careless mistakes or fails to pay adequate attention to detail
- Trouble paying attention during work or leisure activities
- Does not seem to be listening when spoken to directly
- Frequently fails to complete instructions or to complete work tasks or chores
- Often has trouble organizing a task or activity
- Frequently avoids, dislikes, or resists participating in tasks that require sustained focus
- Often loses things needed to complete tasks or activities
- Easily distracted by extraneous input or unrelated thoughts
- Often forgetful
- Often fidgety or taps hands or feet
- Frequently has trouble staying seated
- Often feels restless
- Has trouble engaging in leisure activities quietly
- Engages in multiple activities at once
- Talks excessively
- Frequently interrupts others talking
- Trouble waiting his or her turn
- Often intrudes on others
The fact that children with ADHD may be able to highly focus on activities they enjoy, even to a fault, does not mean that they do not have the disorder. The difference in attention of ADHD children is that they tend to be less able to pay attention consistently, particularly when faced with less pleasurable activities. While symptoms like insomnia and low frustration tolerance are not specific to ADHD or required for its diagnosis, many children, teens, and adults with this illness have these symptoms.
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