Common Questions About ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is often talked about, but the information you may hear about ADHD isn’t always accurate. It’s important to seek information from reliable sources – such as your doctor – in order to avoid confusion or misinformation about ADHD. Here are a few answers to common questions about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

What causes ADHD?

The specific causes of ADHD haven’t been identified. Some research suggests that genetics could play a role in the development of ADHD. You’re more likely to have ADHD if a relative was diagnosed with ADHD. Environmental factors may also contribute to the disorder, but the findings from research are not consistent.

What are the signs of ADHD?

High energy or activity levels, difficulty paying attention or following directions, and short attention spans are hallmarks of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The three main signs of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impassivity.

Of course, almost every child can show these behaviors at some point in time, especially young children. However, someone with ADHD exhibits these behaviors more noticeably than others, the behaviors typically last more than 6 months, and they can cause problems at school, home, or in social situations.

What is the ADHD diagnosis age?

There is not a standard age at which ADHD is diagnosed. The redesigned National Survey of Children’s Health data includes ADHD estimates for children as young as 2 years of age.

Consult with a medical professional if you are concerned about signs of ADHD in your child.

How common is ADHD?

ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders diagnosed among children. Statistics for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder vary, however.

2016 data from the National Survey of Children’s Health estimates that 9.4% of children between 2-17 years of age had ever been diagnosed with ADHD.

Boys are diagnosed with ADHD more often than girls.

How do you know if your child has ADHD?

Since it can be difficult to differentiate between youthful exuberance and ADHD, parents shouldn’t diagnose their child with ADHD. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder must be diagnosed by a doctor.

Healthcare professionals use American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5) standards to diagnose ADHD.

Learn more about DSM-5 criteria for ADHD.

How do you treat ADHD?

There’s no cure for ADHD, but there are ways to manage the disorder. Treatment for ADHD depends on a number of factors. Age, the severity of the disorder, and the recommendation of a medical professional shape treatment for ADHD.

Treatment options for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder include medication, counseling, therapy, accommodations, or a combination of these methods.

If you think that your child may show signs of ADHD, or if you have questions about ADHD, talk to your child’s pediatrician or a psychiatric physician.

Northwest Arkansas Psychiatry provides ADHD testing for children and adolescents under age 18.