Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
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We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
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Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
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Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (sometimes called
ADD or ADHD) is a condition in which a child cannot maintain
attention and has poor impulse control.
They may be restless and overactive. Often these symptoms appear in some
children in the preschool and early school years. Its estimated that between
3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD.
Characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Often fidgets with hands or feet, or often squirms in seat
- Can't stay seated
- Has difficulty waiting turns in group situations
- Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been
- Doesn't listen well, has trouble following instructions especially
- Is easily distracted
- Shifts quickly from one activity to another
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Often talks excessively, often interrupts others
- Often loses things necessary for activities at home or at school
- Engages in activities without thinking of the consequences
How is Attention Deficit Disorder Diagnosed?
Because many children may have a few of these symptoms, its important
that your child receive a thorough examination. There is no specific test to
determine the presence of ADHD. Your doctor will also evaluate your child to
make sure the symptoms are not caused by another disorder, such as Tourette
Syndrome, a learning disability or depression.
What Causes ADD / ADHD?
When your child is diagnosed with any type of condition, its common to
wonder what caused it. While researchers haven't pinpointed any exact cause
for ADHD, there appears to be a genetic link, since children with ADHD often
have a close relative with the disorder.
There has not been any link proven between too much sugar and this
condition. However, there appears to be a link between smoking during
pregnancy and attention deficit disorder in a child. Other risk factors may
include premature delivery, very low birth weight, and injuries to the brain
Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Your child's doctor will first take a complete medical history of your
child. Usually vision and hearing are tested to rule out the possibility of
other medical conditions. Some emotional situations, such as extreme stress,
depression, and anxiety can look like ADHD, so your doctor will ask you
questions to rule out these conditions as well.
To be considered for a diagnosis of ADHD:
- A child must display behaviors from one of the three subtypes before
- These behaviors must be more severe than in other kids the same age.
- The behaviors must last for at least 6 months.
- The behaviors must occur in and negatively affect at least two areas
of a child's life (such as school, home, day-care settings, or
ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior
therapy. Your child's physician will recommend a treatment plan that will
successfully manage this condition.
Disorders that Sometimes Accompany ADHD
Many children with ADHD approximately 20 to 30 percent also have a
specific learning disability (LD). In preschool years, these disabilities
include difficulty in understanding certain sounds or words and/or
difficulty in expressing oneself in words.
In school age children, reading or spelling disabilities, writing disorders,
and arithmetic disorders may appear. A type of reading disorder, dyslexia,
is quite widespread. Reading disabilities affect up to 8 percent of
elementary school children.
A very small proportion of people with ADHD have a neurological disorder
called Tourette Syndrome. People with Tourette Syndrome have various nervous
tics and repetitive mannerisms, such as eye blinks, facial twitches, or
grimacing. Others may clear their throats frequently, snort, sniff, or bark
out words. These behaviors can be controlled with medication. While very few
children have this syndrome, many of the cases of Tourette syndrome have
associated ADHD. In such cases, both disorders often require treatment that
may include medications.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
As many as one-third to one-half of all children with ADHD mostly boys
have another condition, known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). These
children are often defiant, stubborn, non-compliant, have outbursts of
temper, or become belligerent. They argue with adults and refuse to obey.
About 20 to 40 percent of ADHD children may eventually develop conduct
disorder (CD), a more serious pattern of antisocial behavior. These children
frequently lie or steal, fight with or bully others, and are at a real risk
of getting into trouble at school or with the police. They violate the basic
rights of other people, are aggressive toward people and/or animals, destroy
property, break into peoples homes, commit thefts, carry or use weapons, or
engage in vandalism. These children or teens are at greater risk for
substance use experimentation, and later dependence and abuse. They need
Anxiety and Depression
Some children with ADHD often have co-occurring anxiety or depression. If
the anxiety or depression is recognized and treated, the child will be
better able to handle the problems that accompany ADHD. Conversely,
effective treatment of ADHD can have a positive impact on anxiety as the
child is better able to master academic tasks.
There are no accurate statistics on how many children with ADHD also have
bipolar disorder. Differentiating between ADHD and bipolar disorder in
childhood can be difficult. In its classic form, bipolar disorder is
characterized by mood cycling between periods of intense highs and lows. But
in children, bipolar disorder often seems to be a rather chronic mood
dysregulation with a mixture of elation, depression, and irritability.
Furthermore, there are some symptoms that can be present both in ADHD and
bipolar disorder, such as a high level of energy and a reduced need for
sleep. Of the symptoms differentiating children with ADHD from those with
bipolar disorder, elated mood and grandiosity of the bipolar child are
More Information on Attention Deficit Disorder
AD-IN Attention Deficit Information Network
475 Hillside Avenue
Needham, MA 02194
(617) 444-5466 (Fax)
1376 Bank Street, Suite 214
Ottawa, ON K1H 1B3 CANADA
(613) 257-1563 (Fax)
499 NW 70th Avenue, Suite 101
Plantation, FL 33317
(954) 587-4599 (Fax)
The ADHD Challenge
P.O. Box 2277
W. Peabody, MA 01960-7277
(508) 535-3276 (Fax)
P.O. Box 972
Mentor, OH 44061
(800) 487-2282 (Voice Mail)
(440) 350-0223 (Fax)
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Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
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