If you are reading this page, you likely have concerns about your child or someone you love. You are not alone! ADHD is a common medical condition impacting millions of children. The good news is that ADHD is treatable.

One of the problems with ADHD is that it can be a difficult condition to properly diagnose. Children with ADHD are often unfairly mislabeled as difficult, oppositional or socially inappropriate. With proper treatment, children can learn to manage these symptoms, and not only survive but thrive!

Does My Child Have ADHD?

The CDC describes the key symptoms of ADHD as inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. While some children with ADHD only have problems with one of these behaviors, others have both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. It is common for children to exhibit both of these symptoms.

In preschool, the most prevalent ADHD symptom is hyperactivity-impulsivity. And as a child reaches elementary school, the symptom of inattention may become more prominent, causing the child to struggle academically. Children with ADHD are often academically talented, but struggle with retention due to poor attention which may have a negative impact on their grades. This is often the first sign of ADHD.

children playing indoors

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), boys and girls may display different ADHD symptoms, and boys are much more likely to be diagnosed. This is because boys tend to display externalized symptoms which may be more noticeable including:

  • Impulsiveness or “acting out”
  • Visible hyperactivity
  • Lack of focus
  • Demonstrating physical aggression

ADHD in girls may be overlooked because their symptoms are usually not as overt compared to boys. These symptoms may include:

  • Being withdrawn
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • General signs of inattentiveness
  • Verbal aggression (i.e. teasing)

Proper diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed clinician such as a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD. At Suffolk Counseling Services, our licensed mental health counselors can diagnose ADHD. We also have a trusted network of medical professionals to refer you to or we can collaborate with your current doctor.

How Does Counseling Help?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the type of psychotherapy most recommended to treat ADHD. It aims to help a child positively alter his or her behavior. At Suffolk Counseling Services, we can help teach your child to monitor his or her own behavior so they can learn to think before acting. Our licensed therapists encourage and teach children to practice social skills, enabling them to build positive relationships and improve their interactions with others.

We also offer family therapy which helps family members find healthier ways to handle disruptive behaviors while teaching you how to encourage behavior changes, improving interactions with your child.

In order for a child with ADHD to reach his or her full potential, it is important that they receive guidance and understanding from their family, teachers, and other people who are part of their lives. This is why we educate parents on the facts pertaining to ADHD, helping them to take an informed approach in helping their child successfully cope with its symptoms.

children playing astronaut

Helpful Advice for Parents and Teachers

The therapists at Suffolk Counseling Services will help educate parents and teachers on ways to help children to successfully manage their ADHD by:

  • Understanding your child’s diagnosis
  • Setting healthy expectations for your child
  • Helping your child keep a routine and a schedule
  • Tips to encourage clear and consistent communication with your child
  • Give praise, encouragement, or rewards when your child succeeds