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ADHD in Kids

ADHD is currently defined as it appears during childhood and it is only recently that it has been recognized in adults who were not diagnosed as children. Symptoms usually appear before age 7, but may not cause problems until later. If the only symptoms are inattentive, a child may seem to be daydreaming a lot, forget chores or not respond when called. This used to be called ADD, but is now called ADHD, primarily inattentive. Children with these symptoms usually start having problems in school in third or fourth grade, but if they are smart and like reading and writing they may do well until they enter middle school or high school.

Children who present earliest generally have more of the hyperactive symptoms of classic ADHD. They have trouble sitting long enough to finish a meal, they fidget, squirm and play with all items within reach. They often interrupt, blurt out thoughtless statements and have trouble being quiet. Sometimes they will talk back, shout out or even hit people with little provocation. When not closely supervised, they will run and climb, and sometimes end up in the Emergency Room for stitches or broken bones.

Luckily, both types of ADHD (and many children have both at the same time!) respond to treatment. One type is not "worse" than the other and more symptoms do not make ADHD harder to treat. Indeed, sometimes treatment is most impressive in the kids with the most symptoms!

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