ADHD

Do you ever feel like your child is more hyperactive than other children their age?  

Do they struggle to focus in school or when doing other simple tasks? 

Do they fail to listen to you when you are talking directly to them?

Do they say inappropriate things without thinking?

They reason for this type of behavior may just be because they have more energy than other kids and that energy distracts them from focusing; or maybe they are simply just to lazy to do the work.  They also could just be in a phase of testing their boundaries to see how much they can get away with.  However, there may be another underlying issue that is the cause for this type of behavior in your child.  Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder of childhood and is very common amongst adolescents.  ADHD is often first diagnosed in childhood and often last into adulthood.  Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention, have impulsive behavior and are overly hyperactive.  Many kids go through a phase of this type of behavior when they are younger; however, it is when they fail to grow out of it that it may be a sign of ADHD.  Diagnosing whether it is a phase or an actually condition is difficult and is why doctors must be cautious when diagnosing children with ADHD.  Many children do get misdiagnosed with the disorder.  It is important to know the common signs of ADHD and then have your healthcare provider or neurologist determine if the disorder is present or not.

There are three types of ADHD that are differentiated through the presences of specific characteristics in each individual .  Predominantly Inattentive ADHD is when an individual struggles to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to detail, or to follow instructions or conversations.  The person is also easily distracted or forgets details or daily routines. The Predominantly Hyperactive- Impulsive ADHD is when the individual constantly is fidgeting and talks.  It is hard for them to sit still for a long period of time and if they are a child they may constantly be running, jumping or climbing.  They feel restless and have trouble with impulsivity. Impulsive behavior may involve interrupting others, grabbing things from people or speaking at inappropriate times.  Waiting for their turn and listening to directions are other things they may struggle with.  This type of behavior may cause the individual to have more accidents and injuries than others. The third type of ADHD is called the Combined Type which is when the predominantly inattentive type and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type are equally present in the individual.

The cause of ADHD is currently unknown; however, researchers are looking into the role genetics plays in the disorder.  Scientisits are also studying the role brain injury, environmental exposure, alcohol and tabacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery, and low birth weight as possible causes and risk factor for ADHD.

In order for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD they must go through a process that contains several steps.  This is because ADHD has no single test to diagnose and other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and other learning disabilities, have similar symptoms.  Medical exams, hearing and vision testing are used to rule out any other conditions .  Also a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking history of the child from parents, teachers and even the child are used to diagnosis.  Once the individual is diagnosed, treatment  typically involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.  However, treatment always varies amongst people and treatment will require following and monitoring, as well as change sometime until the treatment plan works for the individual.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html

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