A diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can be overwhelming, but thorough evaluation and treatment tailored to your child can help your family manage this condition effectively. ADHD is a chronic condition that interferes with concentration, impulse control and the ability to sit still.
Approximately 11 percent of children in the United States between the ages of four and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Usually diagnosed in childhood, this lifelong condition can profoundly affect how well a child functions at home, at school and socially.
“There has been a lot of controversy about ADHD over the years,” says Robert King, MD, a child psychiatrist and expert in ADHD at the Yale Medicine Child Study Center. “We psychiatrists tend to say that it is both overdiagnosed, in the sense that people see a restless child and make the automatic assumption that he or she has ADHD—and underdiagnosed, in that many children who could be helped by medication and treatment aren’t getting the services they need.”