Statistics presented by the American Psychiatric Association assert that an estimated 8.4% of American children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Helping families find relief is an area of focus for Edwin P. Herd, MD, and many in the Kailua-Kona area of Hawaii have turned to him for care. If you’re struggling to find answers and a path forward for your child, schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Herd for a thorough diagnostic workup and customized treatment plan.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is the most common mental disorder diagnosed in children. Some would argue that it is also frequently misdiagnosed, which is why it’s so important to partner with a pediatrician who has the training and experience to recognize and treat the issue.
There are three types of ADHD, grouped according to symptoms.
Kids with this form of ADHD have trouble paying close attention. They might struggle to follow conversations, frequently lose things, have trouble with organization, or forget routine daily tasks. They also often avoid tasks that require prolonged focus.
Kids with this form of ADHD struggle to stay seated or play quietly. They might speak out at inappropriate times, fidget or squirm, or have trouble waiting for their turn. They often interrupt or blurt out answers.
Kids with a combined type of ADHD will exhibit behaviors from both other types.
Each child with ADHD has a distinct set of challenges, which is why a customized treatment plan is essential.
Researchers aren’t aware of the exact causes of ADHD, but evidence points to a genetic component. The majority of kids diagnosed with ADHD have at least one relative who also has the disorder. Additional potential causal factors include premature birth, brain injury, or maternal alcohol or tobacco use, or high levels of stress during pregnancy.
Finding the right treatment path is important. Left untreated, ADHD can cause a child to become singled out for bad behavior, labeled, and then treated differently in academic or social settings. Behavioral health issues like ADHD can even cause problems that can steer kids into dangerous paths that can cause them harm or even lead to involvement in the juvenile justice system.
The right treatment path is unique for each child, and treatment efforts often need to be adjusted as kids mature and encounter new challenges. Medication can play a role in treating ADHD, but Dr. Herd believes in incorporating other treatment paths rather than relying solely on drug therapy.
Working with a behavioral therapist is an effective way to treat ADHD. A good therapist can help your child develop the emotional, social, and organizational skills needed to thrive.
Parental coaching is another important aspect of ADHD treatment. Dr. Herd can help you find the best way to respond to various behavior issues. Finding the right school support is also critical.
When you’re ready to explore the options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Herd online or by phone.