Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - ADHD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - ADHD

Learn more about symptoms and treatments for mental health problems in children including ADHD, autism, anxiety and depression

Schedule an appointment

Outpatient

717-531-8338 (Hershey)

or

717-782-2737 (Harrisburg)

Ask Us Anything About… ADHD

We’re sharing insights about ADHD with Dr. James Waxmonsky, division chief of child psychiatry, Penn State Children’s Hospital. And of course, we’re answering your questions in, Ask Us Anything About… ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is it?

ADHD may appear as problems with:

  • Paying attention
  • Sitting still
  • Failing to think before acting
  • Some children and adolescents with ADHD do not have significant problems with hyperactivity - we call this the inattentive form of ADHD. It used to be called Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD.

For a child or teenager to be diagnosed with ADHD, these problems must:

  • Have been present for a long time
  • Be more intense than would be expected for a child that age
  • Make it hard for the child to do well at school or home

Children and teens with ADHD may also have problems with:

  • Getting along with friends, siblings and adults
  • Following rules at home or school
  • Being easily frustrated or losing control when mad
  • Getting good grades

It’s important to check all of these areas when evaluating a child for ADHD. ADHD is not just a childhood problem. In fact, many patients will continue to have symptoms into their teen years and even into adulthood. That’s why it’s important to evaluate from time to time to see how children with ADHD are doing as they get older.

How is ADHD treated?

There are behavioral treatments and medicines that work well for ADHD. Classroom supports can also help children with ADHD do better in school.

Psychotherapy (behavioral or counseling treatments)

  • For younger children
    • Most counseling programs work with the parents to help them to reduce their child’s level of problem behaviors and to help the child follow instructions better.
  • For older children and teenagers

Medicines

Medical treatments can help children with ADHD:

  • Focus on one task and ignore distractions
  • Better control their energy level
  • Think before acting, especially when frustrated

Many medications have been well-studied and are FDA-approved to treat ADHD.

Our Treatment Programs

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Psychiatry Program
Located at 22 NE Drive (across from the Tanger Outlets)

The program specializes in treating ADHD in patients  who have:

  • Anxiety
  • Mood problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Aggression
  • Other behavior problems

The program provides services for children, teenagers and adults with ADHD

Research Studies for the treatment of ADHD

Penn State Children’s Hospital has a number of specialized research programs that offer treatment for ADHD. These include:

  • Counseling programs that are just for girls
  • Programs that focus on improving sleep
  • Programs that focus on reducing aggressive or defiant behaviors

Other Programs that offer treatment services for children with ADHD at Penn State Health: