Does your child have ADHD?

PLATTSBURGH In an episode of the popular cable television series, The Sopranos, Tony and Carmella were told that their son, AJ, showed a borderline possibility of having ADHD because he exhibited five of the classic symptoms, six being the norm for diagnosis.

When AJs symptoms were revealed, one was that he tended to fidget.

What constitutes a fidget?

Tony demanded to know - and perhaps you should too.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children, yet it seems to be one that medical experts are still studying.

Children that exhibit signs of impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school, and in their relationships with peers are candidates for an ADHD diagnosis, although many parents feel the symptoms are just normal childs behavior.

Medical experts fear that if ADHD is left untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood.

If ADHD is suspected, the diagnosis should be made by a professional with training in ADHD, to be sure, for as you can see, many of the symptoms are somewhat general.

This disorder is one that should be diagnosed and followed by experts in the field, such as a child psychiatrist, psychologist, developmental/behavioral pediatrician, behavioral neurologist, and/or clinical social worker.

Prior to diagnosis, the expert(s) should study the childs day-to-day routines and patterns to rule out other possible reasons for the childs behavior.

The childs school and medical records should be examined and interviews should be conducted with teachers and parents prior to any diagnosis or treatment regimen.

Should your child be diagnosed with ADHD, there are different treatments available, including medication and behavior therapy. Each of those options should be carefully examined first.

If medication is suggested parents should take a careful look into risks and side effects vs benefits prior to authorizing such treatment.

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