Diagnosing ADHD


“I help families understand that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder. It is not a disorder of effort, character, intelligence, parenting skills or self-control. ADHD is characterized by a pervasive and persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that interferes with day to day functioning,” says Dr. Grover. A child can be diagnosed as predominately inattentive or combined inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive subtype. ADHD may be diagnosed in the preschool years through adulthood but is typically diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 12 and is more common in boys than in girls by a two-to-one margin.


“Kids with ADHD get stigmatized by their behavior at school. They may get labeled as troublemakers and face peer rejection and social isolation,” says Dr. Grover. “We tell parents to get a comprehensive evaluation and to make sure the diagnosis is correct. I tell families, ‘Don’t just focus on weaknesses, find your child’s strengths.’ This helps keep their self-esteem up. Give them opportunities to shine. Parents need to educate themselves about ADHD, the education laws and what services their child may be eligible to receive from the school district. You have to become your child’s number one advocate and cheerleader.”


  • Provide your ADHD child with structure. Clear and consistent expectations are important.
  • Set up routines for getting ready for school, mealtime, homework and bedtime, and stick to them as much possible.
  • Praise your child and provide positive reinforcement whenever possible.
  • Help your child discover his strengths.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep. “Many of these kids have insomnia. The biggest thing is to get them to unplug. Taking electronics to bed is stimulating. They have to wind down so they can fall asleep,” says Dr. Grover.
  • Have your child exercise regularly and feed him a healthy diet.
  • Offer unconditional love and support. Start each day fresh.


  • Percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD globally: 5-8
  • Estimated percentage of adults with ADHD: 2.5 – 4
  • The average age of ADHD diagnosis: 7 years old

Meet Dr. Grover - CHOC Physician

Dr. Geeta Grover is an attending physician for the developmental and behavioral pediatrics rotation for the UC Irvine-CHOC pediatric residency program, and a consulting physician for CHOC’s Early Literacy Program. She completed her internship and residency at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center and also completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Grover is an associate clinical professor in the pediatrics department at UC Irvine and she sees patients both at CHOC and the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Santa Ana. She specializes in evaluating and managing children with ADHD, learning disabilities, educational concerns and autism-spectrum disorders.

Dr. Grover’s philosophy of care: “I look at my job as a privilege. It’s my privilege to have this opportunity to interact with my patients and their families.”

University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

Pediatrics Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Dr. Geeta Grover

ADHD and Diet: Fact Vs. Fiction

Learning to care for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be a daunting task for parents. Families must decide whether to use medications, nutrition or other therapies as treatment.

To help parents make informed decision, here are a few common myths about the relationship between diet and ADHD.

Kids eating ice cream at the beach

Four Ways to Help Children with ADHD

Boy and girl sitting at a table with books

Raising a child diagnosed wHelping_with_ADHDith attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can put even the most patient of parents to the test. However, therapy and other techniques can help children with ADHD have the best opportunity to behave better, function better every day, do well in school and grow up to be happy and successful.

“The goal is to help these young people to become productive, happy members of our society,” says Dr. Geeta Grover, a CHOC pediatric developmental and behavioral specialist.

Knowledge is the best medicine. Learn more about your child's health in these features from the experts at CHOC.

Birth Defects
Common birth defects include: heart defects, cleft lip, cleft palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida. Congenital heart defects are the most common in the U.S.

Treating the Teen Cancer Patient
Teen cancer patients face unique challenges when dealing with cancer. Doctors need to take into account self-esteem, body issues, and emerging independence.

Chronic Inflammation and What it Means in a Child
Chronic inflammation can be manifest in many ways - fatigue, fever, rash, joint pain or swelling, sores in the mouth, chest pains and abdominal pain.

Subscribe to KidsHealth