ADHD in Children
Almost all children have times when they don’t seem to pay attention, cannot sit still or just have more energy than they can burn. For some children, this difficulty concentrating or hyperactivity is so severe and persistent that it interferes with many social and academic tasks. It often causes academic underachievement, behavior problems and low self-esteem.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that makes it hard for children to pay attention or sit still. It is one of the most common childhood conditions. Symptoms may begin before a child starts school. The exact cause of ADHD is not known.
ADHD affects 6 to 9 percent of all school-age children.
A child who has true ADHD may talk constantly, be unable to wait his or her turn, and pay little attention to details. The child may also be easily distracted, act before thinking, have problems with social relationships or have difficulty controlling anger.
Testing for ADHD
There is no specific test for ADHD. It can be hard to distinguish the condition from age-appropriate behaviors in active children. Generally, doctors look for three basic symptoms that show up in two or more settings, such as home and school:
According to guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association, doctors should then look for several specific behaviors within these categories. The symptoms should last at least six months, appear by age 7 and significantly impair the child’s ability to function in school, at home or in social settings.
Doctors usually treat ADHD with prescription medication. Your child should see his or her doctor within a few weeks after beginning medication for ADHD. The doctor will make sure the medication is working. Once your child has a good medication routine, he or she should see the doctor at least every three months.
Children do not simply outgrow ADHD as they develop and mature. Many people continue to experience symptoms throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Developing an effective treatment plan for your child can help prevent some common problems that may arise during the teenage years.
How to Help Your Child
- Educating yourself about the problem and treatment.
- Working closely with teachers to learn about your child’s behavior at school. Our Parent Resource Guide can help.
- Establishing a structured, nurturing home environment.
- Setting up a small reward system to reinforce desired behavior.
- Providing outlets for your child’s physical energy.
- Making sure you find ways to cope. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a national support group that educates, informs and supports parents.
ADHD in Adults
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects both children and adults. ADHD often causes impulsive behaviors, excessive activity and problems with focusing. Because of this, ADHD can cause people to appear forgetful, disorganized or restless.
Almost everyone experiences these things from time to time, but people with ADHD struggle with them every day. Sometimes, this can cause difficulty at work and at home, and with social activities.
Managing Your ADHD
There is no cure for ADHD, but it can get better with treatment. The most common treatments include medication, therapy or a combination of the two.
A good treatment plan will include close monitoring by a qualified professional and follow-up care. With treatment, people who struggle with ADHD can lead successful lives.
ADHD Health Coaching
We offer professional help for adults with ADHD through a health coaching program. When you choose to join our program, you’ll work with a clinically trained behavioral health coach. Your coach can help you better understand ADHD and the best ways for you to manage it.
Through three scheduled phone calls, your coach will help you:
- Set short and long-term goals.
- Identify outpatient providers and community resources.
- Provide tools to help you manage your medications and appointments.
Please note: Only members with health coaching benefits through CBA can take advantage of these resources. Please see your Schedule of Benefits or talk to your Human Resources department to see if you are eligible for CBA's health coaching services.