Naples Pediatrics

Pediatrician located in Naples, FL

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 4-12% of school-age children in the United States. This pervasive disorder negatively impacts every aspect of a child’s life, which makes it important to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Paul Irra at Naples Pediatrics in Naples, Florida. Getting an early diagnosis and starting treatment will give your child the opportunity to do their best and achieve success in school, with friends, and at home.


What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. While all children have times when their behavior seems out of control or hyperactive, children with ADHD have frequent and severe behavior problems.

Children diagnosed with ADHD show behavioral problems that interfere with their ability to function at home or school for at least six months. Teachers often first notice a child with ADHD because their student is unable to pay attention in school. Most children with ADHD have normal or above-normal intelligence, yet 40-60% have trouble in school.  

Children with ADHD also struggle with social and family relationships. They have a hard time playing with other kids have problems developing relationships, even with family members.

What are the signs of ADHD?

ADHD is characterized by three types of behaviors: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. A child may have one or all of these different behaviors:


  • Hard time paying attention
  • Doesn’t seem to listen
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgets to do tasks
  • Loses items needed for tasks
  • Has trouble organizing tasks
  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort (homework)
  • Has trouble following through on instructions (doesn’t finish homework or chores)


  • Constantly in motion
  • Has a hard time staying seated in the classroom
  • Runs around when it’s not appropriate
  • Fidgets or squirms
  • Talks too much


  • Acts or speaks without thinking first
  • Has trouble taking turns
  • Interrupts others’ conversations or games
  • Can’t wait patiently for things
  • May run into the street

What causes ADHD?

No one knows the exact cause of ADHD, but experts believe it’s a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and problems that occur in the central nervous system at key moments during physical development.

How is ADHD treated?

Getting early treatment for ADHD makes a significant difference for children because it improves their ability to be successful. Nine out of 10 children respond well to medication, but mental health treatments, such as behavior management and cognitive behavioral therapy are also effective and often prescribed in combination with medications.

What other complications arise in children with ADHD?

ADHD does not cause other mental health problems, but children with ADHD are at a higher risk for developing additional psychological or developmental problems — another reason why early treatment is vital. They may develop:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Tourette syndrome