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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Evaluaing ADHD Based on Child's Habits

02/12/2004

Question:

Does wetting the bed in the evening along with past behavior issues have anything to do with ADHD? Also, does complaining of your ears proove anything to do with ADHD? My child has severe problems but has improved greatly even devolopmently since a year ago ,she would not do anything 1 year ago but now she is working on the computer with work writing her abc on paper still a small concern of behavior, could this be a adhd problem? I did want to mention a school would not keep her a year ago, and she did kick her teacher. Can I make appointments with these doctors at ohio university to check her over? I would be interested in getting a evaluation with dr.fristad. How can i get her number?

Answer:

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder refers to problems with inattention (problems concentrating, getting distracted easily), impulsivity ("acting before thinking") and/or hyperactivity (i.e., excessive activity) that cause distress and impairment (difficulties at home and school) for the child/adolescent. When children/adolescents require treatment for their psychiatric problems they typically have more than one diagnosis, something which professionals call comorbidity. For children/adolescents with ADHD, that additional diagnosis is often Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), which is a six-month or longer behavioral problem with angry, hostile and noncompliant behaviors which cause impairment at home or school.

Sometimes children/adolescents have comorbid (i.e., additional) problems with bedwetting, which isn`t a symptom of ADHD but it might be related. If bedwetting has been occurring for three consecutive months or more, for at least twice a week, and the child is 5 years old or older, the diagnosis of Enuresis is given.

The only way to know if a child is suffering from ADHD, ODD, Enuresis, or any psychiatric disorder, is to have a comprehensive assessment performed by a licensed mental health professional proficient in the areas of assessing and diagnosing psychiatric disorders in children. To find such professionals, you many want to contact your local chapter of  The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

Regarding scheduling an appointment at The Ohio State University Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, please call (614) 293-4306.

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mary A Fristad, PhD, ABPP Mary A Fristad, PhD, ABPP
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University