What is ADHD, and what can I do about it?

One of the most frequently treated issues among FSGC children and teens is Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Even though ADHD has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, there’s still plenty of misinformation in the media and the public about what it looks like and how it affects children and teens.

Dr. Chip Millhuff, FSGC's Chief Medical Officer, wants parents to be able to make informed decisions about whether their child may need help, so he offered some very important facts about the signs of ADHD.

“ADHD affects three to five percent of preschool and school-age children,” he said. “Symptoms usually start during childhood with about 30-65 percent persisting into the teen years and into adulthood.”

ADHD usually shows itself in three ways:

  • Inattentiveness: A child fails to pay close attention to details and makes careless mistakes. They have difficulty paying attention in tasks or play activities. They may not even seem to be listening when spoken to directly. The child struggles with organization, loses things they need to do homework or school projects and is forgetful in daily activities.
  • Hyperactivity: The child fidgets with their hands or feet or squirms in their seat. They may get out of their seat in school and run around the room. Finally, they may talk excessively.
  • Impulsivity: The child will blurt out answers in class before the questions have even been completed. They have difficulty waiting their turn and often interrupt conversations or intrude on others.

One of the challenges is that ADHD doesn’t look the same in every child. It varies from one child to the next. Some deal almost exclusively with one feature while others experience two or even all three, Dr. Millhuff explained.

Unfortunately, many children living with ADHD go undiagnosed. Parents and teachers may simply see a child who is “just a daydreamer” or “has energy that just won’t quit!”

Dr. Millhuff cautioned, “There’s a lot more to it than that. Over time, ADHD can become a major obstacle for a child to overcome to be happy and successful. It can affect them into adulthood, so early intervention is key."

The good news, however, is that ADHD is very treatable with proven strategies like skill-building, praise and rewards for appropriate behaviors and, sometimes, medication.

If you see these characteristics in your child, Family Service & Guidance Center is here to help. Trained FSGC professionals will evaluate your child and, when appropriate, offer effective, practical treatment options designed to meet their unique needs. Call FSGC today – 785.232.5005 – and ask to speak to Admissions. You can also get started by clicking here.