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ADHD

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a term that parents have become exceedingly familiar with over the past few years. The National Institute of Mental Health has declared that up to 5% of children struggle with the symptoms of ADHD; this is something that the professionals are interested in because it could help them determine how many adults are struggling with the condition and whether children do grow out of the disorder as they age.

The Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD presents differently from child to child, as well as from boys to girls. The three main characteristics that define the condition are as follows;

• Inattention

• Hyperactivity

• Impulsivity

When combined, these three traits can prove to be rather dangerous and they usually end up affecting everything from the child’s schoolwork, their social skills and the manner in which they interact with their families. Difficulties with concentrating often lead to poor grades, while the combination of hyperactivity and impulsivity often lead them to doing or saying things that might be inappropriate and this leads to difficulties in establishing friendships. Some of the problems commonly associated with the condition include difficulties with time management, organizing, employment and even setting goals.

Some of the more common signs and symptoms that usually present in children with ADHD include;

• Being easily distracted

• Losing personal items regularly

• Doesn’t listen often when people are speaking

• Makes careless blunders

• Daydreams often

• Squirms, bounces or fidgets when sitting

• Doesn’t play quietly

• Talks excessively

• Interrupts others

• Has difficulties in waiting their turn

The Causes of ADHD

The specific causes of this condition aren’t known, although there are a few factors that are now understood to contribute to the formation of the condition. Firstly, since ADHD tends to run in the family, children might inherit this disposition from parents. Secondly, a link has been found between neurotransmitters and the development of the condition, which means that brain chemicals might play a contributing role. Lastly, researchers have found that there are certain areas of the brain that are not as frequently active in children with the condition as those without it.

Treating ADHD

In order to treat ADHD, a few different approaches are used to ensure that the child’s optimal potential can be reached. Medications are often used to control the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors that are commonly associated with the condition, and they include Concerta, Daytrana and Dexedrine. It is important for parents to keep note that these stimulants could end up having a negative effect on children, which is why their progress needs to be constantly monitored throughout their treatment.

Some of the psychosocial therapies that can be administered include those that are aimed at the social, behavioral, psychological and the school related issues that the child might experience, depending on the severity of the condition. Training in social skills allows professionals the chance to teach the children how to react appropriately in social situations, therefore providing them with a better chance of making friends. Behavior medication therapy deals with some of the negative behaviors that the child might be taking part in. Special education allows professionals to deal with the challenges associated by providing them with an environment in which they can flourish as they go about tackling their specific educational needs. Lastly, support groups are available for both the children and the parents where they can share their difficulties and obtain support from those that are going through something similar.

At the moment, ADHD isn’t something that can be cured, but there are many avenues that people can take when it comes to tackling this condition. For more information, please visit helpguide.org.