Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders in children, affecting more than 8% of children in the United States. Alejandra Suzuki, MD, FAPA, at Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Irvine, California, is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating ADHD. To schedule a telehealth appointment for your child or teen, call the office or use the online booking tool today.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes an ongoing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior that interferes with daily function. It’s usually diagnosed during childhood and symptoms continue through adulthood.
Children with ADHD may struggle both academically and socially.
Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of ADHD, but theorize it may be genetic. A child may also be at risk of developing ADHD if they were born prematurely or suffered a brain injury.
The symptoms of ADHD typically include inattention with hyperactivity and impulsivity.
With inattention, your child may have a hard time paying attention in class, appear to always be daydreaming, struggle to stay organized, or have difficulty getting tasks done.
Fidgeting, squirming, and talking out of turn are examples of hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms in ADHD.
ADHD is further classified into types based on the most dominant symptom, such as predominantly inattentive or predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. Your child’s ADHD type helps Dr. Suzuki develop a more personalized treatment plan that addresses your child’s strengths.
ADHD symptoms change over time, which means your child’s type may change, too.
There’s no single test for diagnosing ADHD. When you contact Dr. Suzuki with concerns about ADHD in your child or teen, she conducts a comprehensive evaluation to confirm or rule out your suspicions.
Her evaluation includes testing to rule out learning disorders and other psychiatric disorders that have similar symptoms to ADHD, such as depression and anxiety.
She may also request that you and your child’s teacher complete a symptom rating checklist to help her determine the right diagnosis to explain your child’s symptoms.
Additionally, Dr. Suzuki may recommend a complete physical exam that includes a visual and hearing test to rule out any underlying medical condition.
Dr. Suzuki develops individual treatment plans for your child’s ADHD based on their age, symptoms, and family preferences. Treatment may include:
At Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Suzuki works closely with you and your child and adjusts their plan as needed.
No single treatment works for all and your child’s needs change over time. Getting help for your child now may prevent future problems.
Call Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry or schedule your child’s ADHD evaluation online today.