Home » Conditions Treated » Childhood ADHD/ADD Specialists in Overland Park, KS

What is ADD/ADHD in Childhood?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are neurodevelopmental disorders that are primarily diagnosed in childhood. Both conditions are characterized by difficulties in maintaining attention, but ADHD includes the additional symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. In children, ADD manifests as a significant challenge in focusing on tasks, staying organized, and following instructions. These children may seem easily distracted, forgetful, and often daydream, leading to struggles in academic and social settings. On the other hand, ADHD includes all these symptoms but also involves excessive energy and restlessness. Children with ADHD often display behaviors like constant fidgeting, an inability to remain seated, and acting without thinking. Both ADD and ADHD can impact a child’s ability to function effectively in school and interact with peers. Early diagnosis and intervention, which may include therapy, behavioral strategies, and sometimes medication, are crucial in helping these children manage their symptoms and achieve their full potential.

ADD in Children

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) often face unique challenges that affect their daily lives, particularly in structured settings like school. Characterized by difficulties in maintaining focus, these children may struggle with tasks that require sustained attention or following multi-step instructions. They might seem easily distracted, forgetful, or daydream frequently, which can impact their academic performance. In addition to attentional difficulties, children with ADD may exhibit impulsive behavior, acting without considering the consequences, which can lead to social challenges. Unlike ADHD, hyperactivity is not a core symptom of ADD, so these children may not display the overt restlessness associated with ADHD. Instead, their challenges are often more subtle but equally impactful, affecting their ability to organize tasks, complete homework, and manage time effectively. These difficulties can lead to frustration and low self-esteem, making support and understanding from parents, teachers, and peers crucial for their development and success.

ADHD in Children

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often exhibit a distinct set of behaviors that can significantly impact their daily functioning, especially in structured environments such as school. These behaviors typically include a combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD may find it challenging to focus on tasks, frequently switch from one activity to another, or seem not to listen when spoken to directly. They often struggle with following detailed instructions or completing tasks that require prolonged mental effort. Hyperactivity in these children is marked by constant movement, fidgeting, or an inability to stay seated. The impulsivity aspect can manifest as hasty actions without much thought about the consequences, interrupting conversations, or difficulty waiting for their turn in activities. These symptoms can lead to difficulties in academic performance, forming and maintaining friendships, and can sometimes result in behavioral issues. Managing ADHD in children typically involves a combination of treatments, including behavioral therapies, educational support, and sometimes medication, to help them navigate their challenges more effectively.

How is therapy used to treat ADD/ADHD in children?

Therapy for treating ADD/ADHD in children encompasses various strategies that focus on managing symptoms and improving functional abilities. Behavioral therapy is a key component, where children learn to monitor and modify their behavior, enhancing their capacity to control impulses and increase attention. This approach often involves close collaboration with parents and teachers to create a supportive and structured environment. Parents and teachers can help children and teens with ADHD stay organized and follow directions with tools such as keeping a routine and schedule, organizing everyday items, using homework and notebook organizers, and giving praise and reward when rules are followed. Additionally, social skills training is crucial, as it helps children develop better ways to interact with others. Therapists may also work with the child to develop coping mechanisms for managing frustration and boosting self-esteem. In some cases, medication may be used alongside therapy to help alleviate symptoms, allowing the child to engage more effectively in therapeutic activities. This multifaceted approach aims to empower children with ADD/ADHD to navigate their challenges more successfully and improve their overall quality of life.