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Diagnosing ADHD in children requires expertise since its symptoms are similar to normal behaviors in young kids as well as the commonality of one more condition being present. It’s common for children with ADHD to have other problems like oppositional defiance, learning disabilities, anxiety and depression. Mercy’s pediatricians and behavioral health experts can diagnose your child and develop an ADHD treatment plan.
While there’s no single test to diagnose ADHD in children, Mercy providers evaluate kids in multiple ways. Their overall health is assessed, including screenings for medical issues like vision, hearing, sleep or other problems that can affect behavior.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends gathering information about children’s behavior from parents, teachers or others with whom they spend time in different settings like home, school, sports or other activities. Guidelines are used to identify patterns of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity in children. ADHD is diagnosed only when symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in more than one area of your child’s life.
With treatment, many children with ADHD are successful in school and other areas of their lives. Mercy’s behavioral health specialists can show you how to help your child make positive changes. While there’s no cure, many treatment options are available for ADHD in children.
Finding the right medication, dosage and schedule for your child may take time. Some medications may be more effective than others at improving your child’s symptoms. Types of pediatric ADHD medication include:
Your Mercy provider will start with a mild dose, monitor for side effects and adjust as needed. Medication may be used alone or in combination with other therapies to treat children with ADHD. Talk with your provider about the benefits and risks of medication for child ADHD.
Therapy can be effective in helping your child manage ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, inattention, distractibility and disorganization.
Kids with ADHD face extra challenges in school. Learning requires concentration, comprehension, behavior control and other skills that don’t come easily to children with ADHD. And learning disabilities are also common in kids with ADHD. Schools work with many children to minimize the effects of ADHD on learning. Common techniques used in the classroom include:
Federal laws require public schools to evaluate your child’s educational needs and provide services based on the evaluation. Make the school aware your child has ADHD (and any other learning problems), and ask about next steps for meeting your child’s educational needs.
While not all ADHD treatments are available in all locations, your Mercy doctor can help you locate resources and provide a treatment plan for your child.
Mercy offers pediatric mental health services across all our communities.
Find a behavioral health clinic near you.