This Resource Center was made possible through funding from the Lasdon Foundation.

Last updated October 2014

about

ADHD Resource Center ImageAttention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition which includes difficulties with attention, increased activity, and difficulties with impulsivity. Estimates show that between 3 and 7 percent of school-aged children and about 4 percent of adults have ADHD. It is usually first identified when children are school-aged, although it also can be diagnosed in people of all age groups. In an average classroom of 30 children, research suggests that at least one will have ADHD.

No single biological cause for ADHD has been found. But most research points to genes inherited from parents as the leading contributor to ADHD. ADHD often runs in families.

The good news is that there are safe and effective treatments for children and adolescents with ADHD. Treatment is most effective when it begins early and when intervention is individualized to the needs of the child.

Choose a topic:

Glossary of Symptoms: ADHD

frequently asked questions
  1. What is ADHD?
  2. How common is ADHD?
  3. What causes ADHD?
  4. Common signs and symptoms of ADHD?
  5. What are the types of treatment for ADHD?
  6. When is it okay to stop taking ADHD medication?
  7. What are the consequences of untreated ADHD?

 

(back to top)

facts for families

AACAP's Facts for Families provide concise up-to-date information on issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. Below are links to Facts for Families with information that may be useful to families of children with ADHD.

ADHD Resource Center ImageChildren Who Can't Pay Attention/Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Children With Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Conduct Disorder

Children with Learning Disabilities

Psychiatric Medication for Children & Adolescents: Part 1 - How Medications are Used

Psychiatric Medication for Children & Adolescents: Part 2 - Types of Medications

Psychiatric Medication for Children & Adolescents: Part 3 - Questions to Ask

The Anxious Child

The Depressed Child

Bipolar Disorder in Children & Teens

Bullying

Children Who Steal

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Tic Disorders

Fighting and Biting

Services In School For Children With Special Needs: What Parents Need To Know

 

(back to top)

video clips

ADHD: A Guide for Families
Many children have restless behaviors that are typical of ADHD. When fidgeting, poor concentration, or impulsiveness begins disrupting performance in school, at home, or in relationships with other children, the cause might be ADHD. To be a good advocate for your child, you need to learn as much as you can about ADHD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following are chapters from the ADHD: A Guide for Families book:

What is ADHD?
How common is ADHD?
Common Signs and Symptoms
Getting Treatment
Supporting School Success
The Teenage Years
Working Together
Resources

 

(back to top)

clinical resources

Practice Parameters

AACAP's Practice Parameters for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder aids mental health professionals and physicians in their clinical decision making. The Practice Parameters show the best treatment options available to families living with childhood and adolescent mental illness.

Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Information about Choices in Psychotherapy Treatment

Treatment for ADHD comes in the form of medication and psychotherapy treatment. Both can be important elements of a comprehensive treatment plan. There are several psychotherapies that are helpful for children with ADHD. We have the most evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral management techniques can be helpful for children with ADHD.

To learn more about the types of psychotherapy that are available to help children and adolescents with mental illness, click here.

Information about Choices in Medication

Parents who have a child or adolescent with ADHD, or any mental health condition, are often left facing difficult decisions regarding medication.

To learn more about how psychiatric medication is used to treat children and adolescents, click here.

To learn more about the types of psychiatric medication that are available to treat children and adolescents with mental health disorder, click here.

To view up-to-date information about advances in psychopharmacological treatment for mood disorders, click here.

ADHD Rating Scales

Two rating scales which can be used by clinicians to help identify ADHD and monitor symptoms are the SWAN rating scale and the SNAP-IV rating scale. These scales are completed separately by a parent and a teacher.

The SWAN Rating Scale has 30 items and includes ADHD symptoms and symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder. Please click here for the SWAN Rating Scale.

The SNAP-IV Rating Scale contains 90 items and includes symptoms of ADHD and also ODD and aggression. Please click here for the SNAP-IV Rating Scale.

Additional Clinical Resources


Vanderbilt Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale


The revision of the original 2007 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Parents Medication Guide is a joint project of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association, funded by the Elaine Schlosser Lewis Fund. It has been updated to include important research that has added to our knowledge about effective treatments, school and child with ADHD, and transition of adolescents with ADHD into college and adulthood. The goal is to help parents and families make informed decisions about getting the best care for a child or adolescent with ADHD. In addition, a summary of this guide was created in the form of a brochure to highlight its main points on symptoms, treatment options, types of medications, and side effects.

 

(back to top)

research and training

The abstract for the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD is an NIMH sponsored research study that examined close to 600 children with ADHD and studied how they responded to different treatments. Click here to find a brief description of results from this study:
Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD

To learn more about the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD and results from this large research study, please click here.

 

(back to top)

books

AACAP's books: Your Child and Your Adolescent offer easy-to-understand and comprehensive information on the emotional development and behavior of children from infancy through the teen years.

 

(back to top)

getting help

ADHD Resource Center ImageGetting help is the most important thing that parents can do for children and adolescents with a mental health concern. Parents should try to find a mental health professional with advanced training and experience evaluating and treating children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Also, it is important to find a comfortable match between your child, your family, and the mental health professional.

A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders that affect children and adolescents. Child and adolescent psychiatrists have completed four years of medical school, and at least three years of residency training in medicine, neurology, or general psychiatry with adults, and two years of additional training in psychiatric work with children and adolescents.

Click here to find a child and adolescent psychiatrist in your area.

To learn about accessing child and adolescent psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, please read Where To Find Help For Your Child.

Oftentimes, parents are unsure when to seek a referral to a child and adolescent psychiatrist. For more information on when to seek a referral, please click here.

To learn more about understanding mental health insurance, please click here.

Services In School For Children With Special Needs: What Parents Need To Know

Related Websites

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Mental Health America

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute of Mental Health ADHD

National Resource Center on ADHD

This Resource Center was made possible through funding from the Lasdon Foundation.

 

(back to top)