southside pediatric


Pediatrics & Adolescent Health located in Petersburg, VA
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ADHD services offered in Petersburg, VA

Nearly 6-16% of children aged 3-17 have ADHD today. At Southside Pediatric Center, caring board-certified pediatrician Mary Catherine Arrieta, MD, CGP, understands how challenging ADHD is for children and their families, so she offers compassionate evidence-based care in the Petersburg, Virginia, area. Schedule your child’s evaluation through online scheduling and you will be referred for an evaluation

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioral disorder among children, currently affecting around 6 million kids. Children with ADHD experience problems with focus and behavior. 

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD causes symptoms such as:

Inattention symptoms

Inattention symptoms can include difficulty focusing at school, low attention to detail, lack of organization, forgetfulness, losing objects, and difficulty staying on task. Children with ADHD may appear as if they’re not listening when you talk.

Hyperactivity symptoms

Hyperactivity symptoms can include frequent squirming or fidgeting, bouncing or running around, excessive talking, interrupting others, and being in what seems like perpetual motion.

Children can have symptoms from one or both of these categories. 

It’s important to note that children can exhibit some of these symptoms but not have ADHD. With ADHD, children demonstrate these behaviors consistently over six months or longer, and those symptoms disrupt school, social, or home life.

What causes ADHD?

Researchers believe that a blend of genetics and environmental factors probably contributes to the development of ADHD in children. 

Imaging studies show that the brains of children with ADHD look different than those of children who don’t have the disorder. Specifically, children with ADHD have low levels of an important brain neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. 

How is ADHD treated?

At Southside Pediatric Center, Dr. Arrieta treats ADHD based on your child’s individual needs. 

The most common treatment approaches include medication and behavioral therapy, which usually work together for good results. 


The most common ADHD medications are psychostimulants, which increase the level of brain neurotransmitters that your child lacks. This can balance brain chemistry and often positively affect both inattention and hyperactivity. 

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy can take several forms, but one of the most common is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The main goals of behavioral therapy include increasing awareness of negative behaviors, learning positive new patterns, and reinforcing healthy behaviors. 

Dr. Arrieta works with your family, your child’s teachers, and other important people in your child’s life to help establish the best environment for ADHD management and symptom relief. This approach can improve not only your child’s symptoms but also the quality of life for your child and everyone who loves them.