ADHD in Children

ADHD in children is a medical term used to describe a condition where the sufferer has a very short attention span and is easily distracted and restless. It has a harmful effect on the child's ability to learn and develop and is often associated with behavioral issues.

ADHD affects up to 5% of all school children, and ADHD in girls is roughly four times less common than in boysboys. It is usual for diagnosis to occur around the age of seven.


There are many common symptoms that are associated with ADHD in children. These include:

Inattention Symptoms

  • Making careless mistakes in school
  • Not listening to instructions
  • Being easily distracted
  • Losing or forgetting things

Hyperactive Symptoms

  • Fidgeting
  • Running or climbing inappropriately
  • Unable to sit still or play quietly
  • Constant talking

Impulsive Symptoms

  • Interrupting
  • Inability to take turns or wait in queues
  • Jumping in with answers to questions before they have been fully asked

ADHD symptoms in children will mostly be from one of these categories or a combination of them.


A child with suspected ADHD should have an examination by their physician along with a discussion about their medical history. The physician may refer the child to a specialist at diagnosing ADHD. These specialists could be either a child psychiatrist, child psychologist or a specialist pediatrician.

At the moment there is no specific medical test for ADHD, but observation of the child and study of behavioral reports are used will help with diagnosis. The diagnosis of ADHD usually happens when the behavior is found to occur in several settings and no other medical reasons are found.


Current treatments of ADHD involve a combination of different approaches depending on the requirements of the child. A child with ADHD might try several different treatments. Treatments might include changing any of the following:

  • Diet
  • Medication
  • Talking Therapy

Changes to Diet

Some food ingredients, like sugar, caffeine or additives, can make the symptoms worse. Children have been helped by taking extra vitamins, minerals or omega-3 acids. By adjusting the diet it is possible to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD in children.


Some children with ADHD have an unbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. Medication that balances those chemicals can help some children. These medicines include methylphenidate, atomexetine and dexamphetamine. These drugs reduce hyperactivity and increase the attention span, but there can be side effects.

Talking Therapy

Some children benefit from psychological and behavioral therapy. This therapy is designed to help the child learn to cope and reduce impulsive behavior. It can also be helpful to join a support group where you can meet and get advice from other families in the same position.

It can be difficult to care for a child who is thought to have ADHD. Their behavior can be difficult to control and manage and it can cause problems in relationships. It is possible to treat the symptoms of ADHD in children and they can go on lead a normal life.

More information on Children and ADHD:

ADHD In Girls - ADHD is diagnosed 2-4 times more often in boys, raising questions whether ADHD in girls is under diagnosed, overlooked or merely less prevalent...

Diagnosing ADHD - Diagnosing ADHD in children is usually performed by health professionals, such as child psychologists, child psychiatrists or developmental and behavioral pediatricians who specialize...

ADHD Symptoms in Children - The repeated display of the main ADHD symptoms in children can be a worrying development for parents. It is normal for all children to occasionally...

ADHD And The Gifted Child - Research regarding ADHD and the gifted child is providing interesting conclusions which are pointing to the possibility of misdiagnoses...

› ADHD in Children

This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services.