ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

A child with ADHD laughing

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children can create unique physical, developmental, educational and social needs. At Nemours, our child behavioral specialists use standard guidelines developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and information from people who know your child well like teachers, caregivers and you to help address ADHD symptoms in children.

 
Learn More About ADHD in Children

Our behavioral health experts use a family-centered, team approach to provide outpatient psychological evaluations, consultations, and other treatments to care for children with ADHD.

ADHD Symptoms in Children

ADHD in children causes hyperactivity and inattention such as:

  • constant movement, fidgeting or squirming
  • inability to complete tasks
  • difficulty playing quietly
  • distractibility
  • problems with interrupting or intruding on others
  • excessive talking

Jacksonville

Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville

807 Children’s Way
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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Phone: (904) 697-3785

Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
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Bring these forms for your first appointment:

Returning Patients
 
Forms & Resources
New Patient Forms
Returning Patient Forms
Resources for Patients & Families

Any child may go through a phase of not following directions, having trouble sitting still, or not paying attention. But when these behaviors continue and affect home life, school work and social interactions, it can signal ADHD in children. Children with ADHD have trouble functioning socially, academically and at home.

At Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, our child behavior experts specialize in finding the reasons for your child’s behavior, and offering solutions to help manage ADHD in children.

With the proper diagnosis and early treatment, our experts can help you and your child learn strategies to cope and adapt to challenges of ADHD.

 
What is ADHD in Children?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children is a common behavioral disorder broken down into three subtypes each with its own pattern of behaviors:

  • Inattentive type with signs that include:
    • inability to pay attention
    • difficulty following directions
    • difficulty listening
    • problems with organization
    • tendency to lose things like toys or homework
    • distractibility
    • difficulty focusing on tasks or play activities
  • Hyperactive-impulsive type with signs that include:
    • fidgeting or squirming
    • difficulty remaining seated
    • excessive running or climbing
    • difficulty playing quietly
    • always seeming to be “on the go”
    • excessive talking
    • blurting out answers before hearing the full question
    • problems interrupting or intruding
    • difficulty waiting for a turn or in line
  • Combined type: the most common type of ADHD and includes a combination of the inattentive type and the hyperactive-impulsive type
 
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Children
  • inability to pay attention and focus
  • trouble listening
  • easily distracted, daydreams a lot
  • constantly moving, fidgeting, squirming
  • forgetful
  • impulsive, interrupts others
  • trouble playing with others, making and keeping friends
 
Diagnosing ADHD in Children

Before making a diagnosis, we recommend that your child has a medical examination, that includes a hearing and vision test, to rule out symptoms that mimic symptoms of ADHD in children. Following the medical exam, you and your child will meet with our mental health experts to begin gathering information about your child.

We’ll conduct a clinical assessment, similar to an interview, which may include screening questionnaires for you, your child’s teacher, school and others who may have daily interaction with your child to complete. Also, we may perform psychometric testing that measures IQ and achievement to rule out a learning disability or developmental delay, which measures whether your child reaches developmental milestones at expected times.

Depending on whether your child is primarily inattentive or primarily hyperactive/impulsive, there are three different types of attention disorders by which your child can be diagnosed:

  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominately hyperactive-impulsive type
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominately inattentive-type (also known as ADD)
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined-type (most common: combined hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention symptoms of equal significance)

Is it ADHD?

Some of the things we look for in children who may have ADHD:
  • displays behaviors from one of the three subtypes before age 7: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or combined type
  • these behaviors must be more severe than in other kids the same age
  • the behaviors must last for at least 6 months
  • the behaviors must occur in and negatively affect at least two areas of your child’s school, home daycare, or friendships 
 
Treating ADHD Symptoms in Children

Although ADHD in children can’t be cured, it is manageable. Our specialists will work with you and your child to develop an individualized treatment plan. We’ll help your child learn to control negative behaviors and make adjustments to become more productive.

Types of treatment we offer to help manage ADHD in children include:
  • psycho-education: information about ADHD
  • parent training: techniques for managing ADHD symptoms using behavioral strategies that work for your family
  • individual cognitive behavioral therapy: tips to help your child and your family learn new behavior patterns for home and school
  • medication therapy: assessing whether medications, which may include stimulants and non-stimulants, make sense for your child who will be monitored closely 
  • consultation with community providers: including your child’s primary care doctor, and your child’s school and teacher(s), to offer recommendations to improve his or her ability to manage symptoms in that setting
 
Caring for Children With ADHD
  • pediatric psychologists: licensed mental health professionals with a doctorate degree, and who specialize in the study of childhood development as it relates to behaviors and emotions. While they don’t prescribe medications, they can help monitor the effects of medication therapy on your child. 
  • pediatric psychiatrists: medical doctors with advanced training in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. In addition to psychotherapy, a child psychiatrist may prescribe medication therapy when necessary.
  • advanced psychiatric nurse practitioners (ARNPs): nurses specialists who perform the same clinical functions as the child psychiatrists, and who have advanced training in mental health psychotherapy diagnostic assessment, counseling, and medication management.
  • neuropsychologists: mental health professionals with a doctorate degree, who specialize in studying how the brain affects your child’s action and thought. They perform neuropsychological tests to evaluate neurocognitive problems that may cause learning disabilities.