According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parent reporting shows that about 9.5 percent of school children between the ages of four and 17 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and that number is on the rise. Between 2003 and 2007, the percentage of parent-reported ADHD diagnoses rose 23 percent. The most (alarmingly) common type of treatment for ADHD is prescription medication, often forms of amphetamine such as Adderall or Dexadrine. It seems these prescriptions are given out as casually as a toll attendant handing out tickets marking where you get on a highway. Unfortunately, stimulants have a very real and often harmful impact on the human body, yet they are prescribed in children as young as three years old. What Is ADHD? ADHD is a childhood behavioral disorder characterized by several symptoms such as:
- Inability to focus
- Inability to control behavior/impulsivity
Kids commonly diagnosed with ADHD may get bored with activities easily, have trouble focusing in school, or engage in disruptive behaviors. While ADHD is a defined diagnosis that appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, many experts feel that the behaviors listed for diagnoses are normal childhood behaviors that may be disruptive in the classroom. In other words, some experts feel another name for the ADHD diagnosis is this: childhood. Are We Medicating Childhood? According to psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin, diagnosing ADHD allows adults to drug children into behavioral compliance so they stop seeking the true cause of a child’s behavioral issues. The prescribed stimulants suppress a child’s naturally spontaneity, making his or her behavior more palatable for adults. The first suggestion of ADHD often comes in the classroom, where teachers compare students’ behaviors and determine that some children are unable to exhibit the behaviors necessary for classroom management and learning. For example, a child who fidgets and is unable to sit still or not interrupt in a classroom setting may be referred for ADHD evaluation. Once the ball is rolling, teachers, caregivers, and parents work with a physician to evaluate a child’s behavioral patterns in order to reach a determination of ADHD. Interestingly, a 2010 study in the Journal of Health Economics showed that the youngest and most developmentally immature children in a grade (those born within a month or so of their school’s cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility) are much more likely to be referred for ADHD evaluation than the oldest and most developmentally mature in the class. In fact, the study went on to show that the youngest children in fifth and eighth grade classes were almost two times as likely to be taking stimulants prescribed to treat ADHD. This is a disturbing statistic for many reasons. Imagine you have a child who is born in August and therefore makes the kindergarten cutoff just under the wire. When you put him in kindergarten, he is already nearly a year behind some of his classmates both in age and mental/emotional/physical development. A kindergarten teacher, however, must work with a classroom of children with a range of ages and therefore evaluates your son based on his older and more developmentally accomplished peers because, after all, they are the “same age.” There is a big developmental difference from a four year old to a five year old, and a five year old to a six year old – yet in a typical kindergarten class, the teacher has lumped children within this age range into the same developmental category. Your young child may indeed fidget more and have more difficulty concentrating than his peers who are now nearly six. Unfortunately, in overcrowded classrooms, this can be seen as disruptive behavior, and the teacher just may suggest your child receive an ADHD evaluation, when in fact his behavior is based on nothing more than his age relative to his classroom peers. When some parents hear ADHD from a teacher, confirmation bias can kick in. Suddenly, their child’s very normal behaviors may seem disordered instead of normal. If the parent, teacher, and physician all agree this equals an ADHD diagnosis, then that child has been given a label that will follow him from teacher to teacher, year to year, and school to school even though all that may have been wrong was that he was younger than the other children in his grade. Misdiagnosis? This type of scenario may account for as many as 20 percent of kids on medication for ADHD being misdiagnosed. That’s not to say that ADHD doesn’t exist and that some children don’t exhibit behaviors that fall outside of the norm. However, ADHD is a collection of symptoms, and there currently exists no objective physical test to determine ADHD. Instead, its diagnosis is based on objective observation of symptoms and behaviors such as fidgeting, difficulty waiting to take turns, and being constantly “on the go.” I believe that a child’s diet could also account for a number of the symptoms of ADHD. Some of the culprits include:
- Food additives
- Fructose (and high-fructose corn syrup)
- Food dyes
- Food allergies
- Environmental toxins
- Fluoridated water
- Childhood vaccinations
Outside of physical factors, mental and emotional factors may also cause a child to act out, such as difficulty at home, bullying at school, and social anxiety. Is Medication the Answer? ADHD medications are extremely potent stimulants with a host of side effects and long-term effects. While these medications are effective in many cases, there’s a good chance that doctors medicate too quickly and too often. I believe medication should be the very last method used to treat ADHD and not the first. Instead, parents, teachers, and physicians should explore other avenues of treatment including improving the diet, decreasing environmental toxins, and engaging kids in traditional behavioral and emotional therapies. Diet and Environmental Tips If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and you are strongly opposed to going the medication route, try altering your child’s diet and environment, first.
- Eliminate all processed and fast foods.
- Eliminate dairy products.
- Eliminate soda and commercially bottled beverages.
- Eliminate sugar.
- Eliminate gluten grains.
- Feed your child a diet based on healthy, organic plant foods.
- If you eat animal proteins, opt for organic, hormone free, pasture-raised animal foods.
- Switch your cleaning and laundry products to organic, non-toxic alternatives.
- Switch your child’s personal care products to dye-free, additive-free, natural options.
- Remove dangerous chemicals from your home, such as air-fresheners, herbicides and pesticides, bleach, and others.
- Make sure your child drinks pure water that is non-fluoridated.
An ADHD label is one that can follow a child throughout their education, affecting how they are treated and how they view themselves. Physically, the long-term use of prescription medication can lead to difficulties, as well. Instead, think of foods for energy, utilizing farm fresh ingredients bought at farmers markets and local farms. If your child’s teacher suggests you have him or her evaluated for ADHD, educate yourselves about all aspects of this condition in order to provide the most informed advocacy possible for your child.
In Love & Health,
I want to thank you for putting this out there. I have made the mistake of medicating my son at the insistance of his teacher and the side effects of these medications are alarming. I am now finding alternatives to medication and, through further medical testing with his pediatrician and a holistic health practitioner, we have discovered multiple food allergies. I wish doctors were more willing to investigate these avenues than just whip out their prescription pads. I had to raise h*ll to get his pediatrician to listen to me and even paid out of pocket for various tests to find out the root of the problem. I am fortunate to be able to do that and wish it was just the standard of care in these situations. I hope more parents fight to get to the root of these problems rather than just run to the medication right away.
I am a Kinder teacher and agree with this article. However, I would also like to add that kids of all ages need to spend more time outside getting exercise, sunshine and Vitamin D .
I could not agree more. My child gets 20 minute recess at the end of the day and it is the first thing taken away for punishment. Exercise always makes her act better.
I agree as well and so frustrated that my kids can’t be kids because we have to come home, have a snack and start studying and doing homework. We have eliminated after school activities for a tutor to help them with the high demands of constant testing. My first grade daughters teacher complained to me about my child and said I need to take her to a doctor. She was saying, “medicate” her. We went to a therapist and she said it is too early. We eat the way it is recommended and no am eliminating gluten from their diet. How a 6 year is supposed to sit in class and not speak is just not normal. This is the first year our third grader is able to not talk and be okay with it during school. Just wish our kids could be kids. It’s all so stressful on everyone.
What education have you had on the disorder? Those things don’t take away a neurological disorder. My son exercises constantly (hence the hyperactivity… he is in constant motion), plays outside every chance he gets, takes his vitamins (yup they have vitamin D in them) and yet he still suffers from the debilitating symptoms of the disorder he had passed on genetically from his father.
i like this article ….
I completely agree!!!! So many children are “diagnosed” and instantly put on medication without any confirmation of what’s really going on. And there is most definitely a HUGE difference in behavior when children are just one year apart.
We parents need to make sure we are there for our kids and doing what is best for them, not sedating them just to make our jobs as parents or the teachers jobs easier. Nobody said parenting is easy, but if you really show your kids you love them and will always be there for them no matter what, they will always turn out just fine – and of course, feeding them healthy foods so they can do what they are meant to do: shine from within and do their thing of conquering the world! 🙂
Thanks so much for writing this article, Kimberly!!!
please put some more article about child behaviour.&tell the treatment of this type of hyperactive child
I absolutely love your website! Love your blogs! Love your book. However, I am really concerned with this blog. I absolutely agree that misdiagnosis of ADHD is completely detrimental to the child’s health and well-being. As a former montessori teacher, I absolutely recognize that students, who brought healthy lunches, had an improved focus, mood, and physical stamina. The suggestions for diet and tips and medication is a very good foundation for everyone to incorporate. Also, yoga is really good for children as well.
However, I would strongly suggest you reconsider your last paragraph. Do have ADHD or child who has ADHD? Most of the time, parents are trying to do the best they can, even if it is hard.
Have to agree with Kisha: “I absolutely love your website! Love your blogs! Love your book. However,
I would venture to guess that very few parents take lightly the decision to medicate their children, and in doing so, are only trying to do what they feel is best for their child. I looked down upon parents who medicated their ADHD children, until I was diagnosed with ADHD myself. Understanding this diagnosis and what the condition really is has made me much more open-minded and less judgmental.
As ADHD has a strong hereditary component to it, I now often wonder if my 9-year old daughter has it, too. I take a holistic approach to my and my family’s mental and physical health, which includes nutrition and exercise as the foundation. However, I can’t rule out the possibility of medicine as a contributor to our over all good health.
I found this article while searching for some information for a presentation I have to do. Although it won’t work for the presentation, I am struggling right now with my 5 year old daughter. I have just had her tested for ADHD. This was in no way suggested by her teachers. This is something we have been dealing with for almost 2 years. I have tried many things, seen many doctors, trying to figure out what is going on with my daughter. I had a strong stance on not medicating my children unless it was absolutely necessary. I do not want her to be a zombie in class, but she does need to be able to sit down, concentrate, and not disrupt the classroom. Even once we get an official diagnosis, it will still be up to me as her parent, not the school system, on what type of treatment we obtain for her. She is already participating with a counselor doing play therapy and behavior modification. But she is 5! There is only so much we can do at this point. And not only is there ADHD to deal with, there are the other co-diagnoses that go along with it. I want my child to have a successful education and not be kicked out of kindergarten. The school is willing to work with me and whatever needs to be done, but they are not pushing us for any diagnosis to get more money for her. I want her to be a productive member of society, and if it takes medication, therapy, a “label” to get her help, then so be it!
I am a teacher. IAnd while I agree with everything you say re: potential for misdiagnosis of ADHD because of age, and some doctors’ willingness to throw drugs at the problem, so to speak, I think you may want to be careful in stating that a teacher can potentially have any say in the decision for a child regarding this kind of disorder (or any disorder, for that matter). I am not sure about specific laws in other states, but in my state’s public schools, by law, a teacher nor an administrator can make this type of insinuation to a parent. All we can do is document behavior and state factual observations; it is up to the parents’ discretion as to how to handle repeated issues that could signal a need for an eval. We could lose our jobs and/or be sued for trying to speculate.
In my state, the only way we are ever involved in an evaluation referral is if the parents specifically ask for an eval, at which point they are referred to the district psychiatric personnel who can guide them through the process. Or, they can have their child tested through doctors of their choice outside of school, and provide documentation from those sources. We are asked sometimes to sit in on meetings or fill out forms to provide our documentation of behaviors that may have led to the grounds for evaluation.
Since this is already such a touchy subject with parents, students, teachers and administrators, I would think it wise on your part to be sure you make very general statements regarding school involvement in things like this, unless you are citing specific incidents. When it comes down to it, the parent(s) is/are the only one who gets a say — and we as educators are bound by law to accommodate as the needs are medically, physically, or psyhciatrically documented.
Yes unless a person holds a PHD and has real knowledge of ADHD in conjunction with appropriate testing teachers have little to do with diagnosis other than filling out their portion of the DSMIV. It is a very complex disorder that even the parents don’t always fully understand and they live with it day in and out all while watch their child suffer.
My child hasn’t officially been diagnosed, but I notice a big change when I eliminate sugar and dairy from her diet. I did gluten free for about a year and did not see any changes in behavior, so I do let her eat gluten. Dr Bonner’s soap for laundry and most anything else I need to clean is great. I also supplement with B-vitamins and liquid minerals. Those supplements have had a great impact on her behavior.
Kim, I have a girlfriend recently diagnosed with ADHD, which I do not typically hear of in adults. In a nutshell, we are 31, but since High School she has employed the “self-medication” approach. Then, last year she saw a psychiatrist, who prescribed aderol. She said for the first time, she did not feel like drinking alcohol. However, she has since gone off of the medication and it is really hard for me to be around her. In reading your book, I have focused on becoming more present and grounded as a person in addition to changing my lifestyle in some pretty significant ways. Do you know much about ADHD in adults. I would be very interested to read your thoughts as I am a firm believer in drugs being a last resort for solving problems.
If anyone in the community has thoughts, I would be interested as well.
Thanks in advance!
PS I am so inspired by you and the good work you do all around. You wouldn’t by chance be looking to mentor someone would you?
As I mentioned in a previous post above, I am an adult with ADHD. I was diagnosed about a year ago, and like your friend, have a history of self-medication. I take meds for ADHD (and anti-depressants). While not a panacea, they are helpful to me. I am able to slow down and better concentrate on the task at hand.
If you would like to learn more about the experience of ADHD in women, I highly recommend the book, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder, by Sari Solden.
Many (maybe most) people don’t really understand what ADHD is, and that it presents itself differently in individuals. For example, I am more of the “inattentive” type rather than the “hyperactive” type, which is likely how I went undiagnosed for so long.
This book can provide the education on ADHD that so many of us don’t even realize we need.
Schools have an economic incentive in “designating” children with a disability like ADHD… they get more aid the more designated children they have on thier roster
I couldn’t agree more with this article!! I often wonder the same thing about the Autism diagnosis as well.
Great article Kim. I struggle with this on a daily basis, my 10 year old daughter has ADHD symptoms but is actually on the autism spectrum. I hate giving her medications but everyone makes me feel that it is necessary. I have tried not giving them to her but her behavior is so different off of them. Do you feel the same diet changes can improve autism symptoms also? I have cut out her dairy and she hates meat but she loves sugar and claims to not like gluten free anything.
If I may suggest- you are the MOTHER, not your daughter. How did she get to the stage of ‘loving sugar’ and ‘claims not to like anything gluten-free ? Did you introduce her to sugar and keep feeding it to her ? Unless she buys her own foodstuff, you are the gatekeeper of her consumption habits.
Sugar is the only addictive substance we give to children. I have been diagnosed with add and my sister with ADHD. Both of us react to blue and red food dyes. Both were band from my home when we were little. Sugar makes our concentration go out the window. I also started taking medication for ADD when I was 16 and from that experience I can not believe it is given to children as the side effects are messed up. You get highs and lows like being on drugs mood swings. We lasted about a year on the meds. My sister and I both also suffer from anxiety due to our fathers Post trumatic stress and telling our doctor this he still perscribed seed based substances which made us worse. This should not be the first answer at all. Also acupuncture for anxiety and concentration has been one of thebest things besides a proper diet.
Really???? Yeah, ok
You should buy the book “Is this your child?” by Doris Rapp M.D. Lifechanging. She mentions how what the child is wanting to eat the most is most likely the culprit in behavioral, allergy and many other disorders.
At the beginning of this past school year during a parent-teacher conference with my sons 3rd grade teacher (each parent had one), she suggested taking him to be evaluated by a doctor to see if he had an issue with attention/concentration. She went on to say that her own son who is an adult now has been on meds since he was in middle school and it’s the best decision she ever made for him.
To think for a moment I even entertained the thought.
Then I remembered that I know my child. He is a smart kid who happens to be extremely imaginative and artistic. He can play many instruments, including the violin, by ear. Well it’s a blessing and a curse that some of us artistic people have…our minds wander. If all of the artists/musicians who daydreamed were put on meds we’d have a lot less beauty in this world.
He ended up getting really good grades all year, and only lost money (behavior system) a few times. I’m a proud mom.
Parents know their children. The teacher had known my son less than 2 months before bringing up the possibility of having him medicated.
Thank you for a great article. I strongly believe that food and environmental toxins are limiting our kids from reaching their full potential and giving many a label that is not needed. Thanks again.
“I strongly believe” is a statement based on years of research and knowledge? The label is most definitely needed. How would you like to suffer from a severe neurological disorder but have people say that is made up? Kids can’t reach their full potential because they have a disorder that makes so many things you take for granted so difficult. What medication do we have (and have had) for 30 + years with a great track record to limit these symptoms? You guessed it! Stimulants. Strange how all those years of real life use has confirmed this yet everyone wants to pretend it just isn’t so.
I would be interested to know how childhood vaccinations cause ADHD. Where is the evidence. People are choosing to not vaccinate their children based on something they read on the internet. I just don’t think it’s wise to just throw random things out there without backing them up. It’s easy to cut out food dyes, chemicals and the like because there is no down side to doing so. Childhood vaccination on the other hand is so important to prevent deadly disease. Maybe you should discuss this with Dr. Oz and get back to us.
On a lighter note I just started making your glowing green smoothie and I love it. So does my 1 year old!
I would have to agree with Kim. When my children were in grade school (late 90’s to early 2000’s) my son’s teacher mentioned ADHD testing for him. I was told before this comment that he was very smart, during free time would read/look at National Geographic mags and then could tell you the article verbatim. He watched the Science and Discovery channel instead of all the junk on tv. I told the teacher I was not going to DRUG my child. I told her that maybe he was bored with the material. I also asked if she passed out any sugary treats as rewards. She said yes and I went on to tell her that she should not give my child sweets if she did not want him to be fidgety in her classroom. I do remember a report on the news right before all this ADHD came about stating that sugar does not have an effect on children. What a way to get more people on meds. I would have to guess that all this ADHD is not only a result from all the toxins but also not enough Magnesium in the diet. The GGS would help with that!
Sugar doesn’t affect ADHD nor does magnesium. Also teachers are not trained on ADHD (as it is a very complex neurological disorder) nor do they hold PHD’s with extensive knowledge on the disorder. Why would you think you needed to drug your child when you hadn’t even seen a psychiatrist to evaluate and see if a diagnosis was needed? Sorry comments like this fuel the misinformation on the disorder. So many people have stories like this that they try to use as PROOF that the disorder is all a hoax. Yet people suffer their entire lives with this very real disorder.
Thanks for writing this and educating everyone, Kim! So true that many children are misdiagnosed and given drugs to address this problem, while not addressing the cause! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say here. Thanks again!
Very true that parents need to seek answers for their childs diagnosis or ADD or ADHD. Whenever I see a this issue in children or adults, I recommend they see a Developmental Optometrist. Vision problems such as undiagnosed focusing and tracking problems, or visual processing issues contribute to causing a child to be distracked in the classroom or have poor reading comprehension.
Yes, the nutrition comes first…then seek our if their are any sensory-motor issues.
Kindly, Dr. Kaplan
Seriously? Please tell me you have actually researched ADHD (extensively) and know that it is a neurological disorder. My son doesn’t scream for no reason or jump on furniture for hours on end, get bored in 5 min with anything he does, or have emotional problems because he has eye sight issues… which of course he has no issues with and has perfect vision.
I don’t believe that anyone is making teachers the scapegoats but I will say this….I worked in schools for over 10 years. I have met teachers for and against medicating kids. Unfortunatley, I’ve met more that are for medicating. Reason being, its much easier to deal with an overcrowded classroom when the most disruptive student is sedated. I don’t blame the these teachers for feeling this way. They have a tough job but it is up to the teacher, parents, principal, and doctors to find better solutions than medication.
A comment about viewing the site via my mobile: I like to read Kim’s posts through my mobile phone while I’m nursing my baby. But the “The Beauty Detox Movement has Spread to Over 150 Countries Worldwide” popup blocks the content and makes it very difficult to read anything. Because of the size of my screen I am unable to close the popup window (I put my finger on the screen to move the popup over so I can close it, and when I do so the popup disappears so I can’t close it). Is there anything that can be done about this to make it easier to visit the site from a mobile phone?
Hi Kimberly! Thought you’d be interested in this – it’s a documentary about how gut flora may be implicated in autism. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to watch it from the US because it’s on the CBC website, but there are written articles accompanying the video as well.
Thanks for sharing the info! I just went on the website, very interesting “Autism Enigma” Nature of things with David Suzuki on CBC Canada.
I agree that there is over medicating going on however i do not agree that ADHD is just “childhood”. There are children who have been diagnosed the world over who do not have ADHD but if you have ever met a child who actual has the condition you would understand the difference.
Fidgeting is not an actual sign of the condition. Some children cannot keep themselves in their seats and are constantly jumping out of their chairs. They yell out the answers to questions in class when someone else is trying to talk or tell them they are dumb and to let them answer the questions. These are some real signs of ADHD which i have witnessed in my secondary science classes. The other students in the class feel overwhelmed with the behaviour and the child is not being malicious in any way he just has no control over his actions.
These are extreme behaviours that the children cannot control and i agree there are better ways to deal with them other then medication but i do not agree that it is not a real condition and you shouldn’t down play that this is a real battle for some children and their families.
Agreed! It is not just “childhood” and I think it is incredibly irresponsible to play it off as it it was. It is easy for someone who A. doesn’t have ADHD or B.doesn’t have any experience firsthand with the debilitating disorder to downplay it. Yes, medication is over prescribed and I agree that it should be the last resort but for some, medication is the key between living and not.
Why should medication be the last resort? Its the only thing that takes away the debilitating symptoms. Also if you actually research how many children and adults that have ADHD and how few are actually medicated then you would know that it is a myth about over medicating the disorder. I really wish people who are truly educated (like spend their life researching the disorder) would be the only ones allowed to write about the subject. Statements like “I feel” and “I think” are not facts or information only an opinion based most likely on misinformation they have read or heard. Rant over!
The public needs to understand that some behavioral optometrists, physicians, educators, mental health professionals, occupational therapists, and allergists are all addressing the same symptoms and behaviors. The difference is that medication, special education, and counseling can mask these symptoms and behaviors, while vision therapy, occupational therapy and/or treatment of allergies may alleviate the underlying causes and thus eliminate the symptoms long-term.
I copied the above from some research I have been doing and thought it would help people with this article who may be considering treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I have experienced this with two of my children who showed symptoms of ADD. One child our child had a vision disorder that went undetected from even routine eye exams. Through our research and help of the optometrist we saw, we found that there is a connection between symptoms of ADD/ADHD or some learning disabilities as 60% of children with either of these may actually have a vision problem. We are now seeing an eye therapist to correct this vision problem. My other child had very bad allergies and asthma and after allergy shots, we saw the symptoms disappear. Our allergist also said that allergy sufferers can also be misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
To summarize, I would encourage you to do the following while determining the best way to help your child:
Consult a behavioral or developmental optometrist for a developmental vision evaluation.
Have a child evaluated by an occupational therapist with expertise in sensory processing problems.
Consult an allergist regarding possible reactions to foods or airborne particles.
You are so right! The food children are now eating is fueling this attention problem with our kids. School lunch menus are not helping, the food they are serving at our Texas schools is horrible and only hurting our kids. It is so sad that so called nutritionist do not have your insight into food.
This article is spot on. People: if your child is experiencing behavorial issues and you are wondering if this is normal, it is not! Do an elimination diet and find out what the food that is triggering the issues. My 6 year old son changed within 48 hours into a calm, focused and more obedient child who could follow instructions. Turns out his triggers are gluten, dairy, almonds, cashews and food colorings. Check it out!
My son is 6 and we’re experiencing the same issues. I am at the very beginning stages of eliminating all the things you mentioned. Your comment gives me hope!
Being on ADHD meds does not automatically mean that a child will be a “drugged shadow of his/her former self”. This is a gross generalization. Finding the right medication and correct dosage is the goal. My husband is a psychologist who specializes in childhood ADHD. It is trial and error but when a balance is found they are not zombies.
In the UK it can take over a year of tests and observations before a child is prescribed medication. Since birth I knew that my son was different from other children and when we finally got a diagnosis at age 7 it was a relief. No amount of changing his diet or elminating certain food stuffs has ever helped.
If your child is on ADHD medication and is a “zombie” then they are on the wrong drug or too high a dose. My child has the lowest dose possible (because it makes sense to start that way) it doesn’t alliviate his symptoms entirely but it does mean he is able to listen in school, complete the majority of his work and interact with his peers. A child who acts out is different than a child with ADHD.
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Art lessons will help enhance your kid s imaginative side. Children who are subjected to the humanities at an early age have high self-esteem and incredibly expressive. The arts may help create their psychological and emotional development.*
Academic difficulties are also frequent. The symptoms are especially difficult to define because it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and clinically significant levels requiring intervention begin. To be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be observed in two different settings for six months or more and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) symptoms may begin in childhood and continue into adulthood. ADHD and ADD symptoms, such as hyperactivity, implulsiveness and inattentiveness, can cause problems at home, school, work, or in relationships.`:’;