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ADHD

Sean A. Flynn, MD, FAAP -  - Pediatrician

Step By Step Pediatrics, PC

Sean A. Flynn, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician located in Bloomfield, NJ

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an incurable genetic disorder, but if it’s detected early enough, children can learn valuable coping skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Dr. Sean Flynn, the pediatrician at Step by Step Pediatrics, PC, in Bloomfield, New Jersey, understands the difficulties of dealing with ADHD and provides expert support and treatment to help your child lead a happy and fulfilling life.

ADHD Q & A

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a genetic syndrome that affects the brain’s ability to regulate a set of functions and related behaviors called the “executive functioning skills.” These skills include:

  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Memory
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Organization
  • Social skills
  • Motivation
  • Learning from mistakes

How is ADHD diagnosed?

ADHD can be an especially difficult disorder to diagnose in children, who are normally active and learning how to use the same functions that might be impaired in a child with ADHD. To aid in diagnosis, the American Psychological Association has established a set of criteria that your child should meet to make an ADHD diagnosis:

Inattention

Six or more of the following symptoms need to be often displayed for kids up to age 16 and exist for more than six months:

  • Fails to pay close attention to details/makes careless mistakes
  • Has trouble holding attention
  • Does not appear to listen
  • Loses focus or gets side-tracked
  • Has trouble organizing
  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Loses things
  • Is distracted
  • Is forgetful

Hyperactivity

Again, six or more of the following symptoms need to often occur for kids up to age 16 and exist for more than six months:

  • Fidgets or squirms
  • Abruptly leaves
  • Often runs around
  • Can’t play quietly
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out
  • Has trouble waiting his turn
  • Interrupts

Before making a final diagnosis, Dr. Flynn will confirm his findings with affirmative answers to each of the following questions:

  • Were the symptoms present before the age of 12?
  • Do symptoms occur in different settings?
  • Are symptoms disruptive?
  • Have other possible causes been ruled out?

How is ADHD treated?

Since there’s no cure for ADHD, treatment focuses on managing the symptoms of the disorder, which is accomplished primarily through a combined effort of medication and therapy.

Therapeutically, cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy are the two most common approaches. Doctors have also been successful with different forms of mindfulness therapies.

Prescription medications that stimulate and regulate brain function are also commonly used to treat ADHD in combination with therapy.

Dr. Flynn will sit down with you and go over potential treatment plans, after thoroughly assessing your child’s situation.