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Recognize the Warning Signs of ADHD
I’m a new second-grade teacher. Can you advise me on how I might recognize ADHD among my young students?
"Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness are the most noticeable issues of childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD," says Angelica Higgins, M.D., a board-certified specialist in Pediatrics at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "A child with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD may also have impaired social and academic functioning."
Dr. Higgins says that poor attention to detail, fidgeting, forgetfulness, constantly losing possessions, difficulty focusing on class assignments and blurting out inappropriate comments are common indicators, which may become apparent before a child turns 7.
"ADHD can detrimentally interfere with a child's school work, peer group relationships and self-esteem," says Dr. Higgins, who stresses the importance of recognizing the condition in the early stages and referring the child to a qualified professional.
Though the exact causes of ADHD are not known, treatment options are available.
"Treatment usually involves a combination of parent education, lifestyle changes, professional counseling and doctor-prescribed medication," she says.
"Don't expect children to 'outgrow' the symptoms. Left untreated, young people with ADHD are at increased risk of developing more serious behavioral problems once they become teenagers, including failing grades, depression, drug abuse and broken relationships," concludes Dr. Higgins, who cares for young patients at Kelsey-Seybold's Pasadena Clinic.
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