Knoxville (WVLT) - Now that the school year is underway, you may notice your child is having trouble adjusting in the
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is the most common behavioral disorder in young people.
With the right diagnosis and treatment, ADHD is manageable.
But there are other disorders that produce the same symptoms.
Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone explains in part one of this special report.
Dr. Bill Allen says, "Not focusing attention doesn't automatically mean ADHD."
ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in young children, and many experts would agree it's over-diagnosed. In a true diagnosis, several other factors are ruled out first, including stress and depression.
"Children who have a learning disability can look ADHD. They may not focus because reading is really hard for them."
There are two major criteria that must be followed to get the proper ADHD diagnosis. Starting with your child's school psychologist, a cognitive and academic test must be conducted. And parents and teachers will have to fill out their own questionnaires so doctors can get an idea of the big picture.
And if your child is not ADHD, but continues to have difficulty in school, there could be other factors like symptoms of the autism spectrum or another "disorder" Dr. Allen calls frustration intolerance. It's when young people can't deal with challenges properly because they live in a world with instant technology.
"So if you don't have to practice frustration tolerance, when the teacher says come here I want you to do this assignment, that's a little frustrating for you, you're going to be off task."
Meanwhile the behavioral characteristics of ADHD can be an asset, and the medicines available can allow children and adults to function well.
More details in part two of our special report.
Thursday, we'll take a look at how being ADHD can give you an advantage in certain life situations and how medicine used to treat it can work against you.