Are you concerned that your son or daughter may have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Our Monmouth County, NJ, developmental pediatrician Dr. Alison Smoller of Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey, can answer a few commonly asked questions about the disorder.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes children to react more impulsively, be unable to remain still for even short periods of time, or have difficulty paying attention. Approximately 11 percent of U.S. children have the disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Boys are more likely to be affected than girls.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Although "hyperactivity" is included in the disorder's name, not all children who have ADHD are hyperactive. In fact, your child may have an ADHD sub-category, such as primarily inattentive or primarily hyperactive/impulsive. Some children have a combination of symptoms.
If your child has difficulty paying attention due to ADHD, you may notice that he or she is often distracted, makes mistakes in schoolwork due to lack of focus, doesn't turn in homework even though it's completed, or loses homework and belongings. Children may also find it difficult to listen to teachers for long periods of time or follow multi-step instructions.
Children who experience hyperactivity may constantly fidget, find it difficult to stay in their seats in school and seem to be constantly moving. If impulsivity is a problem, your child may interrupt other people, have trouble taking turns, exhibit poor decision-making skills or have difficulty with social boundaries and relationships.
Is medication the only treatment option if my child has ADHD?
Medication can be a very effective option for some children, but it's not the only treatment option. When your son or daughter visits our Monmouth County office, we'll use a variety of assessment tools to develop a diagnosis, then make recommendations that will help your child manage his or her behavior.
If your son or daughter has trouble making or keeping friends, we may suggest a social skills group. Talk therapy can help children handle their frustrations, while behavioral therapy sessions can be invaluable in developing coping skills. We can also recommend educational supports that may make school less stressful and offer advice regarding parenting a child who has ADHD.
Your child can enjoy a full, satisfying life, thanks to ADHD treatment options. Call Dr. Smoller of Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey at (732) 660-0220 to schedule an appointment for your child. Dr. Smoller proudly serves patients from all over the state of New Jersey including Pennsylvania in her Monmouth, NJ, office.
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