Is it ADD?
By Mary Lewis, MD
October 30, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: ADD   ADHD  

It's mid fall. First quarter school grades are being posted, and teachers are contacting parents by email or phone about school problems.  This is the time of the year that pediatricians field many calls from parents worried that their child may have ADD/ADHD.

ADD and ADHD are not uncommon, but many perceived problems can be addressed at home before requesting a formal evaluation by a pediatrician..

First--where and how does your child study and do their homework?  A quiet place, free of ALL electronic devices and media/noise, is essential.  Not one of us, especially a child, can multi-task efficiently with phones and computers dinging, TVs blaring, music blasting, family yelling. Have your child pace themselves with assignments and studying.  A homework notebook is a great way to prevent the "I forgot"s.  Also, many kids get bogged down with new material and the need to work hard, and may need extra help or a tutor.

Is your child getting a good night's sleep?  The bedroom should be free of all media and electronic devices as well.  A regular bedtime should be maintained.

Is your child eating a healthy breakfast before leaving for school?  No one can perform well with no/little fuel in the tank.  A mix of protein and healthy carbs (fruits, veggies, whole grains) will give your child brain energy and prevent blood sugar crashes.

If after all that, you are still concerned, contact your pediatrician.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends ADD/ADHD screening be done with a behavior rating checklist called the Vanderbilt Assessment.  Your pediatrician can address your concerns and give you these forms for parents and teachers to complete.

Happy Halloween!