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Pediatrics/Diagnosing a hyperactivity disorder

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Dear Dr. Olson,
I have a 14 year old daughter.  We have always felt she was a bit hyper but I didn't overthink it because some kids are simply more energetic than others.  However, as she gets older I can see some of these behaviors picking up and standing out.  There is a noted decrease in her ability to focus.  Some of this could be due to becoming a teenager, but she doesn't concentrate and pick up on things the teacher says, while other kids in her class do.  She forgets to bring home things and loses things constantly.  One behavior in particular that picked up speed is a total obsession almost to the point of addiction to both the phone and boys.  Again; a teen type of thing but really extreme in comparison to most others that I know.  It is a nonstop thought process and there is a lot of arguing due to it.  It is nearly impossible to get her to do school work and I take and limit the phone and try to impose structure regarding school work.  We go out to eat at a restaurant and she can't sit still.  She gets bored and ends up doing things such as spitting out of her straw and flinging food.  This is not normal for a girl her age.  I am trying to gather information at this point and was wondering how and what kind of testing is used to determine if she does have either attention deficit or, more likely, a hyperactivity disorder?  I have tried so many things and think it is time to possibly rule out a bigger issue that has been on our minds for many years.
Thank you so much for your time and your help.
Sincerely,
Maria Sebastian

Answer
Hi, Maria,

She should see her pediatrician, have a good history, have a good exam, have some standardized tests done and then see where it all shakes out.  Pretty easy stuff and things that most pediatricians do very well.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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