Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavior disorder of childhood, affecting between 5 and 9 percent of children. Children with ADHD can have trouble behaving or paying attention in school due to hyperactivity or impulsiveness (a tendency to act or speak without thinking). While ADHD can be inherited, doctors do not currently know what causes some children to have ADHD.
While all children experience times when they have trouble paying attention, children with ADHD have symptoms that do not get better without the assistance of coping techniques as they grow. A child with ADHD may:
Most children with ADHD will show these symptoms by age 7. Early identification and treatment can help your child perform better at school and behave better at home. Without treatment, children with ADHD are at increased risk of failing out of school, substance abuse, depression or accidental injuries.
Doctors with the Riley at IU Health Child Development Center perform comprehensive evaluations to determine if children have ADHD or other behavioral problems.
During the evaluation, your child's provider will take an extensive developmental history to determine any health problems, what is going on in your child’s life and the history of his or her behavior. Your child's provider will also observe your child and how he or she behaves and interacts during the appointment. As the caregiver you may be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire or checklist. If needed, your child may be brought back for an appointment to undergo psychological testing, speech testing and/or a medical examination. This testing, often in the form of activities or games, lets your child’s provider identify symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis.
After the evaluation, you will receive a detailed report about your child's specific condition as well as a list of community resources that can help your child. The report allows all caregivers and healthcare professionals who care for your child to apply consistent techniques to help him or her improve.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, its symptoms can be treated and controlled. Specialists at Riley at IU Health provide specialized care for children with ADHD through the ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program. Your child’s doctor or care team may suggest the following treatment options:
Your child's treatment plan may include one or more of these treatment options. The professionals will work closely with you and your child to find a personalized, effective treatment.
Visit the links below to learn more about ADHD and find support services.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
HealthyChildren.org, an online resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics, includes comprehensive information and dozens of articles on how to parent a child with ADHD.
CHADD.org provides education and support services for parents and professionals, including an Ask the Expert section and the latest ADHD news.
Understood supports parents with children with learning and attention issues through personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community and more.
Doctors with the ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program at Riley at IU Health participate in a variety of research studies on ADHD. These studies explore new medicines and help us learn more about children with ADHD and aggressive behavior as well as the effect of video games on aggressive behavior. This research gives patients access to the latest treatment options through clinical trials and can help improve future diagnosis and treatment for ADHD.
Providers within Pediatrics and IU School of Medicine’s Child Health Improvement Research and Development Lab are working to improve the social-emotional health of young children through earlier identification, engagement of providers and families, and care coordination.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
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