ADHD, which is otherwise known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental childhood disorders. Usually, it is first diagnosed in childhood and in most cases, often lasts into adulthood.
Children with ADHD may have some issues when it comes to paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors, meaning they can act without thinking about what the consequences will be. They are often overly active as well.
Symptoms And Signs
Children, from time to time, may have trouble behaving and focusing which is a normal occurrence.
But in the case of children with ADHD, these behaviours are persistent and constant, meaning children don’t grow out of them.
With time, symptoms continue and can become more severe, causing difficulty at home, at school or with friends.
Other symptoms include:
- Daydreaming a lot
- Forgetting or losing things a lot
- Difficulties with resisting temptation
- Issues with taking turns
- Talking too much
- Making careless mistakes
- Taking unnecessary risks
- Having trouble with getting along with others
- Squirming, fidgeting, or bouncing when seated
- Always moving, climbing on things or running(In teens and adults, this is known as restlessness).
- Troubles with staying seated
- Can not play quietly
- Always “on the go”
- Blurting out answers
- Interrupting others
Symptoms of ADHD In Adults
As a person gets older, the symptoms of ADHD may change as well. They include:
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship problems
- Chronic boredom
- Easily frustrated
- Trouble with controlling anger
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Problems at work
- Trouble concentrating when reading
- Mood swings
- Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
There exists three different types of ADHD which depend on what kind of symptoms are strongest in an individual:
1.Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is difficult for the individual to finish or organize a specific task. Moreover, a person has troubles with paying attention to details, or following instructions as well as conversations and is often easily distracted and as a result, forgets details of a daily routine.
2.Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets as well as talks a lot. Sitting still for long (like while doing homework or a meal) presents an issue.
Smaller children with this type of ADHD may run, climb or jump constantly. They feel restless and are known to be very impulsive. When being impulsive, they may interrupt others excessively, speak at inappropriate times or even grab things from people. It’s difficult for them to wait for their turn and listen to directions. Due to this, an impulsive person may experience more injuries and accidents than others.
3.Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above mentioned two types are equally present in a person.
And because symptoms may change over time, the accompanied presentation can change over time as well.
Causes Of ADHD
Scientists and researchers are still studying causes and accompanied risk factors in order to find better ways to efficiently manage as well as reduce the chances of a person acquiring ADHD. Both causes and risk factors for ADHD are still unknown, however current research shows the crucially important role of genetics with recent studies of twins linking genes with ADHD.1.
In addition to genetics, researchers and scientists keep studying other possible causes as well as risk factors such as:
- Brain injury
- Tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Premature delivery
Research does not support commonly held views stating that ADHD is caused by watching too much television, social and environmental factors like poverty or family chaos, parenting or eating too much sugar.
However, it is true that many things, including these ones, can, in certain people, make symptoms worse. But the evidence is not convincing or strong enough to conclude that the above mentioned things are the main causes or risk factors of ADHD.
Deciding whether a child has ADHD involves a process with several steps. There is no such thing as a single test used for diagnosing ADHD, and many other issues, such as anxiety, depression, certain types of learning disabilities as well as sleep problems may all have similar symptoms.
One step of this process involves conducting a medical exam, including both hearing and vision tests, for ruling out other issues with symptoms such as ADHD.
Usually, diagnosing ADHD includes a checklist that is used for rating ADHD symptoms while taking a history of a child from parents, teachers, and in some cases, from the child.
Often times, ADHD is successfully treated with a combination of both behavior therapy and medication.
For preschool children with ADHD, behavior therapy, more specifically training for parents, is the first line recommended treatment before medication is tried. As for what works efficiently and best, it may depend on a child and family. Effective treatment plans will involve close monitoring, follow-ups as well as making changes, if needed, during the treatment process.
Managing Symptoms And Staying Healthy
Being healthy is very important for all children and in cases of children with ADHD, their health needs to be especially well-regulated.
In addition to behavioral therapy as well as medication, following a healthy lifestyle
may make it easier for a child to successfully deal with ADHD symptoms. Here are some of the healthy behaviors which may help:
developing healthy eating patterns such as eating plenty of vegetables, fruits as well as whole grains and enriching daily menu with lean protein sources is a good place to start.
Furthermore, participating in daily physical activity which is suited for one’s age also helps as well.
Moreover, it’s better to limit the amount of daily screen time from phones, TVs, computers as well as other electronics.
And last but not least – it’s important to get the recommended amount of sleep per night based on one’s age.
When noticing the ADHD symptoms during childhood, it is important to refer to a specialist such as a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist who will help both you and a child and teach you how to successfully deal with the symptoms of ADHD.
And in case of ADHD lasting into adulthood, you need to carefully and diligently follow the treatment plan throughout your lifespan for managing the symptoms and securing your health.