Learning about Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a disorder that causes inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and in some cases, hyperactivity. Recent studies indicate that 8-10% of the population is affected. It is proven that there is a strong genetic link. In families without an affected close family member, the cause can be multifactorial

In order to be diagnosed with ADHD the child needs to be inattentive in more than one setting. If the child is focused at home, but struggles in school, it is possible the child has a learning disability. If the child struggles at home, but has no problems in school, a social stressor in the home may be the cause of inattention.

To diagnose a child with ADHD, a comprehensive evaluation must be done. This includes a full history and physical exam by a physician Rating scales are used to evaluate for ADHD. These are completed by parents and teachers. The checklist allows physicians to evaluate the severity of the symptoms. Our office often uses Vanderbilt forms for assessment. These can be downloaded from a PDF on our website. There are different forms for parents and teachers.

If the history and forms are consistent with the diagnosis of ADHD, treatment has multiple facets. Parent education and behavior modification are important components. The doctor may prescribe medication. The risks and benefits would be discussed prior to starting treatment. Some medications are controlled substances that require a new prescription each month. Children on medication also must been seen by a physician every three months to be monitored for efficacy, side effects or problems.

There are resources that parents can access for additional information about ADHD. CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a non-profit organization that can be accessed online. Additional references include ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as ADHD and Me, by Blake Taylor.

If you are concerned that your child may have this disorder, please contact our office to schedule an evaluation.

Prenatal Visit

Are you expecting? Congratulations! Choosing a pediatrician for your newest arrival is an important decision. We share your joy in this exciting time, and we look forward to the opportunity to partner with you in caring for your child.

Parents-to-be are encouraged to attend one of our complimentary prenatal meetings. These informal group sessions are a great way for you to meet one of our pediatricians, obtain information about how our office operates and receive a tour. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Sessions are held monthly at 5pm. The next meeting will be August 22, 2012. Please call our office at (727) 323-2727 to add your name to the list, or if you have any other questions!

Upon Arrival
If your baby is born at Bayfront Baby Place or St. Petersburg General Hospital, simply inform your obstetrician and the hospital staff that you have chosen one of our pediatricians to care for your child. Our office will be notified of your baby's birth, and one of our pediatricians will come to examine your baby daily until discharged home. Upon discharge, please make an appointment to have your little one seen in our office by calling (727) 323-2727.

If your baby is born at a different hospital, the attending pediatrician affiliated with that facility will care for your baby while in the hospital. Upon discharge, simply call our office to schedule a newborn visit.

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