Attention-deficit disorder and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) are common behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. According to parent reports in the National Survey of Children’s Health, 9.7 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 17 have been diagnosed. While clinical research has shown that the condition is more prevalent in boys than in girls, this may be attributed to gender differences in how ADD/ADHD presents. ADHD treatment can help children with this disorder effectively manage its challenges to succeed socially and academically.
What Is ADD/ADHD?
Children who have ADHD/ADD are extremely impulsive, act without thinking, can sometimes be hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. Many children with ADHD/ADD find it difficult to follow through with instructions and tasks, despite understanding what’s expected of them, because they cannot sit still and pay attention.
While all younger children experience this to a degree during moments of excitement or anxiousness, children with ADHD/ADD experience these symptoms over a longer period of time and in different settings. These outbursts often impair a child’s ability to function socially, academically, and at home.
It is important for parents to recognize that, though it can be challenging to raise a child with ADHD/ADD, they are not “bad,” “acting out,” or being difficult on purpose. They are simply unable to control their behavior without medication or behavioral therapy.
What Strategies Can Help My Child Manage ADD/ADHD Symptoms?
When diagnosing ADD/ADHD, we start by considering environmental issues. In some cases, behaviors that are similar to the symptoms of these disorders arise in response to stress at home or school. This could be caused by divorce, illness, a move, a new school, or another major life change. Our mental health professionals will work with you to comprehensively review your child’s history and symptoms before determining that a child has a behavioral disorder.
We also work to rule out mental health conditions that can mimic the symptoms of ADHD, such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to understand that video games, sugar, poor parenting, and even stressful situations do not cause ADD/ADHD—it is a chronic neurological condition, not a reaction to external conditions.
Seek Help From Cross the Bridge Counseling
If you’re concerned about your child’s behavior, we can work with his or her physician to provide support for an ADD/ADHD diagnosis and help determine a treatment plan that works. We highly recommend behavioral therapy to manage your child’s symptoms and help him or her thrive. Contact our therapy team for a consultation at (845) 342-5789 or request an evaluation with our convenient online form.