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Primary Care For All of Your Child's Health Needs

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

When your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, get help from a pediatrician at University Health.

What Is ADHD?

ADHD is a complex brain-based disorder affecting children and adults. ADHD symptoms vary by person. Diagnosed sub-types of ADHD are:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive
  • Combined

Children with ADHD have brain differences that affect their attention, self-control and level of activity.

What Causes ADHD?

Researchers are still working to determine the cause of ADHD, but many believe it has a strong link to genetics, according to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD).

Behaviors can become more challenging at school and home as they get older. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment plan can help manage symptoms and enhance your child’s development.

ADHD Symptoms

Some symptoms of ADHD are common behaviors for young children, like trouble sitting still or paying attention, even though they do not have ADHD. Talk to your pediatrician if the following ADHD symptoms and behaviors are constantly a problem for your child at home or school:

  • Daydreaming
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Frequently forgets or loses things
  • High activity level
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Interrupts others
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Squirms or cannot sit still
  • Takes unnecessary risks
  • Talks too much
  • Trouble taking turns

ADHD Testing in San Antonio

Work with an experienced pediatrician or family medicine doctor at University Health children’s clinics close to you to diagnose ADHD.

Testing Methods & Diagnosis

There is not a particular medical test to diagnose ADHD. It’s important to consult a knowledgeable doctor who uses widely accepted evaluation methods to diagnose your child.

If your pediatric primary care doctor recommends testing, the steps to diagnosing ADHD include:

  • Considering other medical conditions with similar symptoms and ordering tests if needed to rule them out
  • Performing developmental and behavioral screenings and watching your child’s behavior
  • Using the NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales—a scientifically validated tool—to gather a detailed overview from you and your child’s teachers about your child’s daily behaviors and interactions with others

We suggest you bring the completed NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales to your visit.

ADHD Treatments

If your child gets an ADHD diagnosis, you and your doctor will talk about tailored treatment options and strategies that may help your child the most. Many children benefit from:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Self-management and education accommodations and programs
  • Medication
    • Stimulants
    • Nonstimulants

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