ADD, or attention deficit disorder, is a disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood. It can interfere with a child's ability to succeed academically at school, to make friends and to be involved in extracurricular activities such as sports. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential so the child can stay on track and not get discouraged.
Children with ADD often have difficulty focusing. They may be unorganized, and be unable to sit still or stand in a line. When people talk to them they may have difficulty listening or may interrupt constantly. The symptoms of ADD vary from person to person, as does the severity of the symptoms. According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, one-third of people with ADD do not have hyperactivity symptoms.
If you suspect your child has ADD, start by going to your family physician. Once ADD is diagnosed, the most proven method of treatment is a combination of drugs and therapy to learn how to cope with the symptoms and adapt behavior. A team of specialists can also be enlisted to help your child. This team could include a psychiatrist to check for emotional problems, a social worker to help with family issues and an education specialist to help with any problems at school or learning disabilities. Adults still dealing with the effects of ADD can benefit from coaching as well.