San Diego: (619) 692-0622
Santee: (619) 749-7059

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San Diego Centers for Pediatric Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy

San Diego: (619) 692-0622

Santee: (619) 749-7059


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder | ADHD

ADHD is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the regulation of a particular set of brain functions and related behaviors. 

These brain operations are collectively referred to as “executive functioning skills” and include important functions such as attention, concentration, memory, motivation and effort, learning from mistakes, impulsivity, hyperactivity, organization, and social skills.  There are various contributing factors that play a role in these challenges including chemical and structural differences in the brain as well as genetics.

What Are the Signs of ADHD?

All kids struggle at times to pay attention, listen and follow directions, sit still, or wait their turn. But for kids with ADHD, the struggles are harder and happen more often. 

Kids with ADHD may have signs from one, two, or all three of these categories:

  • Inattentive. Kids who are inattentive (easily distracted) have trouble focusing their attention, concentrating, and staying on task. They may not listen well to directions, may miss important details, and may not finish what they start. They may daydream or dawdle too much. They may seem absent-minded or forgetful, and lose track of their things.
  • Hyperactive. Kids who are hyperactive are fidgety, restless, and easily bored. They may have trouble sitting still, or staying quiet when needed. They may rush through things and make careless mistakes. They may climb, jump, or roughhouse when they shouldn't. Without meaning to, they may act in ways that disrupt others.
  • Impulsive. Kids who are impulsive act too quickly before thinking. They often interrupt, might push or grab, and find it hard to wait. They may do things without asking for permission, take things that aren't theirs, or act in ways that are risky. They may have emotional reactions that seem too intense for the situation.

Sometimes parents and teachers notice signs of ADHD when a child is very young. But it's normal for little kids to be distractible, restless, impatient, or impulsive — these things don't always mean that a child has ADHD.

Attention, activity, and self-control develop little by little, as children grow. Kids learn these skills with help from parents and teachers. But some kids don't get much better at paying attention, settling down, listening, or waiting. When these things continue and begin to cause problems at school, home, and with friends, it may be ADHD.

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Mission Valley Center

Kara Dodds & Associates - San Diego
7840 Mission Center Court, Ste. 200
San Diego CA 92108

(619) 692-0622

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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Santee Location

Kara Dodds & Associates - Santee
8840 N. Magnolia Ave Ste 220
Santee CA 92071

(619) 749-7059

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

Get Directions