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Ben Vitiello on Symptoms of ADHD in Children


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ADHD - Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children



Time: 00:03:35 | Size: 3.35 MB
Speaker: Ben Vitiello, M.D. (NIMH)

Description: Dr. Ben Vitiello, Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, talks about therapy and medication treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.

Announcer: NIMH Radio… from Bethesda.

Dr. Vitiello: The symptoms of attention deficit disorder are problems with concentration...especially in school and they can also include hyperactivity meaning moving too much. All kids move- kids who have attention deficit disorder...they move too much compared to their peers.

Announcer: Dr. Ben Vitiello is with the Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is an expert on Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children.

Dr. Vitiello: Attention Deficit Disorder causes disfunction- that's the most important thing...meaning that the symptoms, per se, don't make the disorder. If they are there and don't cause trouble they don't cause problems...but if because of inattention...because of hyperactivity the child has school, at home with friends, peers and the community...then this becomes a disorder.

Announcer: About five to seven percent of all school age children in the United States meet the criteria for ADHD...

Dr. Vitiello: With the understanding that boys are much more likely, at least three times are more likely, to qualify for this condition compared to girls. We don't know exactly why this is the case probably goes together with all behavioral problems are more common in boys...disruptive behavior aggression, conduct disorder, social behavior are all more common in boys. Girls are more likely to suffer from inattentive type of attention deficit meaning they don't have too much of the hyperactivity, they are quieter...but they have trouble with concentration on things and...because they don't cause trouble, you know, many times they're not recognized as such.

Announcer: There can be a fine line between normal childhood behavior and a disorder like ADHD. But if signs of hyperactive behavior are causing family concerns its best to gather information and get advice...

Dr. Vitiello: A reasonable step would be to check with the pediatrician for instance- the primary care doctor and to put together, first of all, the information from school, from the teacher-multiple teachers also is good. The more information you get, the better...and to review the situation with the pediatrician. In some cases, it's a good idea to check with a a child psychiatrist or child psychologist. Because attention deficit disorder often times comes together with other conditions, so it's not just attention deficit...sometimes there is an underlying learning disability that you need to deal with. Sometimes it is underlying anxiety or depression. Other times there are behavioral problems which are not really attention deficit disorder but they're more like conduct problems.

Announcer: But again, the best advice is to talk to your child's doctor or mental health professional.

Announcer: This is NIMH Radio.