The Basics of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a common problem. It has been around long enough that lots of opinion and debates exist about it. However, we know more about ADHD than many other mental health conditions. We also know what treatments help. In this article, we explain for parents from professional experience what ADHD is, how it can be evaluated, and what can be done about it.

What is ADHD?

The primary features of ADHD represent the high end of a range of traits all of us possess. We all have a certain ability to pay attention, a specific activity level and an individual range of impulse control. At certain times and in specific situations, we all might have problems paying attention or become overactive, restless and impulsive. However, ADHD is different from normal behavior in a number of important ways.

First, individuals with ADHD show many hyperactive-impulsive and/or inattentive behaviors. The current symptoms of ADHD include nine hyperactive-impulsive behaviors and nine inattentive behaviors (see below). Children must have at least six of the nine symptoms from either or both lists in order to qualify for ADHD. New standards for physicians and psychologists to diagnose ADHD will be released this summer. Those may require that patients meet only four symptoms from each list if they are 17 or older. A person can receive the label of ADHD by having enough symptoms in the hyperactive-impulsive area, the inattentive area or both.

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Jumping into Trampoline Safety

Trampolines are a common sight in the backyards of families all over the United States. People of all ages use trampolines for fun, exercise or spending time with their friends and family. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports trampolines are not as safe as you might think. During 2011 alone, there were more than 83,000 people injured while using trampolines, according to a recent U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission safety alert.

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Gardening with Kids: Learning as they Grow

Right outside your door, in a container on your porch, in a raised bed by your garage, or in a large plot of land in your backyard lies a whole world of discoveries, just waiting for you and your children to unearth it. Literally unearth it!

Planting a garden and growing fruits and vegetables can be such a rewarding time for you and your family. We know that when kids are part of the process of growing their own food they are more willing to taste it. What better way to get a child interested in eating a crisp cucumber than for them to plant the seed, water it, tend to it and watch it grow?

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Is Cute in Your Baby's Nature? Get a Free New Parent Planner and Baby Shirt from ACH

Have you signed up for a free new parent planner from Arkansas Children's Hospital? It's stocked with all the important info you need for every stage of pregnancy and early childhood, and also doubles as a place to organize all that important paperwork for the newest member of the family.

» Read more about the New Parent Planner

Choosing a Pediatrician

New parents are faced with countless big decisions. Dr. Bryan Burke of ACH helps make at least one of them easier in this video offering advice to families as they start their search for a pediatrician.

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Preparing Your Teens for Dating

You don't have to be a social scientist to know that teenagers are nearly obsessed with romantic relationships. Sullen and disinterested teens become animated and move to the edge of their seats when discussions turn to the latest gossip about school romance. Also, teenagers actively attempt to keep parents at arm's length when it comes to romance. This results in stress and frustration for parents. In spite of teenagers' efforts to keep parents out of their love lives, there are some important things parents can do to help their adolescent children – and themselves – through this difficult time.

» Learn more about Teen Dating