What are ADHD symptoms?
- Failure to pay close attention to details
- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Not listening when spoken to
- Not following through on instructions
- Struggling with task completion
- Lacking organizational skills
- Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Easily forgetful
- Frequently losing things that are necessary for task completion
- Easily distracted by outside noises or other individuals
- Frequent fidgeting of hands or feet
- Leaving your seat when you are supposed to stay seated
- Feeling restless (adults)
- Running/climbing when it is inappropriate (kids)
- Inability to do activities quietly
- Excessive talking
- Constantly “on the go”
- Struggling to wait your turn
- Cutting other people off when they are speaking
- Blurting out answers before the question is completed
How is ADHD diagnosed?
A two-fold approach is used in diagnosing ADHD. Clinicians use diagnostic testing (such as the Cambridge Brain Science exam) and screening questionnaires, patient history, and physical exam before making an ADHD diagnosis.
How to know if you have ADHD?
If you believe you may have ADHD, it is recommended to consult with a qualified professional for a formal evaluation. In some individuals, teachers or loved ones have pointed out symptoms they have noticed that warrant further evaluation. In other situations, patients themselves see declining functioning in their work, school, or home life.
How to treat ADHD?
ADHD is treated predominantly with stimulants. Stimulants work to modulate two neurotransmitters in your brain: dopamine and norepinephrine. There are two subgroups of stimulants which include:
- methylphenidates (e.g., Ritalin, Focalin, Concerta)
- amphetamines (e.g., Vyvanse, Adderall, Adzenys)
There are also non-stimulant options that can be used to treat ADHD. Examples include Strattera, guanfacine, and clonidine.
In addition to medication, we believe in an all-encompassing approach to ADHD management. This includes behavioral therapy, support groups, resources, and accommodations at school to help set patients up for success.
Why can amphetamines be used to treat ADHD in children?
Stimulants, both methylphenidate, and amphetamines have been studied for decades. They have shown long-term safety with considerable improvement to a very challenging diagnosis for patients to manage. Additionally, the FDA released a statement stating they did not find an association with children and adverse cardiovascular events (4). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released their latest treatment recommendations (2019) with methylphenidate and/or amphetamines as first-line treatment for ADHD in children (5)
Our clinicians are sure to discuss the risks and benefits of every treatment option with patients and their parents. Our priority is to ensure both the patient and parent are comfortable with the medication that is being prescribed.
Are there any resources available for people with ADHD?
We recommend chadd.org for children with ADHD. Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., is one of our favorite authors for ADHD resources for patients (adult or child) and loved ones (parents, spouses, siblings). There are also summer camps, magazines, podcasts, and therapists our clinic is happy to recommend.
Are there doctors for ADHD in Austin, TX?
If you’re looking for an ADHD doctor near you, Specialty Clinic in Austin has two locations in north and south Austin for in-person and telehealth appointments. Our team of providers has decades of experience diagnosing ADHD in adults and children and providing you with personalized care.
- Arnsten AF. Fundamentals of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: circuits and pathways. J Clin Psychiatry 2006; 67 Suppl 8:7.