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May 18, 2017 06:41 PM

Cases Of ADHD Rise Steadily In US

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — or ADHD — is a chronic condition that includes difficulty paying attention and hyperactivity. The diagnosis is common in the United States, and it can be life changing.

Cindy Heidelberger Larson is the associate director at Ground Works Midwest. She's also a busy mom who says her 13-year-old son Xavier keeps her on her toes.

"Is your homework done? Is your home work completed? Get off the screen. Have you done all of this," Heidelberger Larson said

Heidelberger Larson says her seventh grader has a ton of energy like most boys his age. Xavier also suffers from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and anxiety.

"People will treat him differently. He won't get invites to friends houses or birthday party invites. People will ask him what's it like being a kid with ADHD, 'Why do you do such weird things?'" Heidelberger Larson said

Today, nearly 1 in 5 children is diagnosed in the U.S. with ADHD. Cases have been rising steadily since 2011. 

Avera Pediatrician Dr.Nicholas Torbert says ADHD is very prevalent today and not a condition that should be looked at negatively. 

"I see a lot of ADHD in my practice and I love ADHD and those exams because it's one of the things I can help in and intervene in right away," Avera Pediatrician Nicholas Torbert said

Torbert says if you are concerned, the ideal age to get an ADHD evaluation is around age 6 when children are in school. 

"If school is not going well, I would definitely think about having an evaluation for ADHD, or really just any general behavior concerns," Torbert said.

Torbert says if you child is diagnosed with ADHA, medication isn't always required. Heidelberger Larson says her son has more control when exercising, such as running cross country and working with his hands in the garden.

Torbert says typically he wouldn't give an ADHD examination to a child under 4 years old since the exams have to be conducted in two separate environments. Typically home and school.

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