More than two-thirds of all individuals with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) have at least one other coexisting condition. In other words, ADHD usually doesn’t stand alone.
The symptoms of ADHD in children include constant motion and fidgetiness, constantly and awkwardly interrupting, blurting out, having difficulty sitting still, and constantly needing to be reminded of things – all of which may also indicate other disorders.
If left untreated, ADHD and the coexisting disorder(s) can cause needless suffering for both your child and your family. That is why you need to recognize the signs of a coexisting condition so it can be diagnosed and treated by a skilled pediatrician here in Purchase.
Conditions that Often Coexist with ADHD in Kids
- Disruptive Behavior Disorders – Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) exhibit a pattern of arguing; loss of temper; refusal to follow rules; a tendency to blame others; being angry, resentful, spiteful, or vindictive; and deliberately annoying other children or adults.
Similarly, children who have conduct disorder (CD) may be aggressive toward people and animals; be in the habit of destroying property, lying, or stealing; skip school, break curfews, or even run away from home.
- Mood Disorders – Children who exhibit extreme changes in mood associated with depression, mania, or bipolar disorder may often cry or are frequently irritable for no apparent reason. Children with ADHD are 14 times more likely to have depression than children without ADHD, and both environmental and genetic factors are thought to strongly contribute to the disorder. If left untreated, these issues can lead to school problems or even suicide.
- Anxiety – A child with ADHD is highly likely to also have an anxiety disorder, in which they often worry about any number of things (school, peer pressure, home life, etc.). This makes them feel stressed, tired, and tense, and prevents them from getting enough restful sleep.
- Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome – About 10% of children with ADHD have Tourette’s, and as many as 80% of those with Tourette’s have ADHD. Tourette’s is characterized by sudden, rapid, and recurring involuntary movements and vocalizations, in which the child will loudly and suddenly blurt out words or sounds, and/or repeatedly flinch or blinking their eyes.
- Learning Disorders – Half of all children with ADHD also have a learning disorder, which causes them to have trouble acquiring or using new information through reading or calculation. Dyslexia and dyscalculia are the most common learning disorders that coexist with ADHD. Notably, 12% of children with ADHD also have speech problems.
- Sleep Disorders – Children with ADHD tend to have difficulty calming down, falling asleep, and staying asleep. In fact, persistent sleep problems are frequently a symptom of ADHD.
- Substance Abuse – Children who have ADHD are at a greater risk of developing an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. The good news is that adolescents who are prescribed stimulant medication for their ADHD are much less likely to use illegal drugs than those who are not taking medication for their condition.
Treatment for Coexisting Conditions
Once a child is diagnosed with ADHD and a co-occurring disorder, a comprehensive treatment plan can be formulated by their doctor – depending on the impairments that the symptoms produce in their life. The treatment should be ongoing, and it should be evaluated at least once a year to make sure it is working and adjusted if necessary.
Personalized treatment options for ADHD may include:
- Behavior therapy
- Skills training
- School supports and accommodations
The primary goals of treatment for ADHD in children include helping the child control the symptoms, cope with their disorder, improve their overall psychological well-being, and manage their social relationships.
Treatment for Childhood Depression and ADHD in Purchase, NY
At Westchester Park Pediatrics in Purchase, New York, our pediatricians are dedicated to your child’s total health and well-being. If you, as a parent, recognize the signs of ADHD or another type of behavioral health disorder, don’t hesitate to seek our professional help.
For more information about our adolescent healthcare services, or to arrange a consultation with one of our pediatricians, contact us today at (914) 761-1717. We look forward to serving you and your family!