ADHD

Anu R. Pathak, MD

Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Physician located in Southbridge, MA

Nearly 6.1 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to a 2016 parent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you think your child may have ADHD, you can schedule an evaluation with expert pediatrician Anu R. Pathak, MD, at her office in Southbridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Pathak can evaluate your child for ADHD and design the right treatment plan to suit their unique needs. For more information, call Anu R. Pathak, MD, or book an appointment online.

ADHD Q & A

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that causes inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children with ADHD often find it difficult to concentrate and sit still in school, though these are not the only telltale signs of the disorder. 

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

It’s important to note than ADHD, which is more common in boys, often affects boys and girls in different ways. Girls are typically less hyperactive than boys in the classroom, so they’re more inattentive and “zoned out” than disruptive. Because of these subtle differences in behavior, many girls with ADHD go undiagnosed for years.

If you think your child may be struggling with this disorder, watch out for these common ADHD symptoms:

  • Excessive talking
  • Inability to sit still
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Inattention
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Problems completing tasks
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Interrupts others
  • Academic struggles

Most children begin displaying ADHD symptoms between the ages of three and 12, but experts don’t recommend testing for the disorder before the age of five. 

How is ADHD diagnosed?

There is no single ADHD test that doctors use. It’s a process that requires input from your child’s pediatrician, teachers, other caregivers, and you. Dr. Pathak encourages you to track and take notes on your child’s behavior, relationships with friends and caregivers, and how they perform in school. Your child should display ADHD symptoms for at least six months before you bring them in for testing.

Dr. Pathak may also have you fill out a survey or checklist that helps her better gauge your child’s ADHD symptoms. In some cases, she may recommend a noninvasive brain scan.

It’s important to see Dr. Pathak if you suspect your child has ADHD, as these symptoms may indicate another condition, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Certain brain function disorders

ADHD and depression are considered co-occurring conditions because many patients have both at the same time. In fact, up to 30% of children diagnosed with ADHD also have a mood disorder like depression.

Not only do ADHD and depression have similar symptoms—inability to concentrate, irritability, changes in eating and sleeping habits, etc.—experts believe ADHD actually leads to depression in many cases. When children struggle to focus in school or form meaningful friendships, they can feel sad, frustrated, and even hopeless.

Depending on your child’s behavior and stress levels, a combination of therapy and ADHD medication may help relieve their depression symptoms. However, Dr. Pathak will make a full evaluation before offering her treatment recommendations for these two conditions.

How is ADHD treated?

ADHD treatment in children is a multistep process that typically includes a combination of medication and behavioral management techniques. Some of the most common ADHD treatments are:

  • Structured routines
  • Rewards systems
  • Stimulants (such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse)
  • Behavioral therapy

Dr. Pathak can work with you to design the right ADHD treatment plan for your child. To schedule an appointment, call Anu R. Pathak, MD, or book online.