10 Things You Should Know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
By Alexandra Hawkins
People suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) experience inattentiveness, over-activity, and impulsivity.
1. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. 3-5% of children are diagnosed with this disease, and boys are at a higher risk than girls.
2. Those suffering ADHD have inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms which include:
- Difficulty sustaining attention during school, and while completing tasks
- Has trouble listening
- Has problems listening to instructions well
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Easily distracted
- Runs around during inappropriate times
- Blurts out answers before on can ask a question
- Difficulty waiting for their turn
- Interrupts others
3. It is very common for a child to be misdiagnosed with ADHD. However, if ADHD is suspected, there are guidelines that you should follow.
- Children should have at least six of the symptoms listed.
- Symptoms should be present for at least 6 months and noticed in two or more setting.
- If the child suffers difficulties in many settings.
4. No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD. An evaluation for ADHD takes a lot of time and effort. It should include a clinical assessment of the child’s school, social, and emotional functioning and developmental level. It’s also important to know the child’s history from parents, teachers, and the individual.
5. The causes of ADHD are unknown. Genetics, diet, and the social and physical environments are possible factors contributing to this disease.
6. Effective treatment requires a multimodal approach. This means that multiple interventions work together as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve the best outcome. Consistency and positive reinforcement help toward a better outcome. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, and education or training.
7. The most common type of medication is a stimulant. The stimulant has a calming effect that helps reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. It improves their ability to focus, work, and learn.
8. It is common for other conditions to coexist with ADHD. Common conditions include: A learning disability, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety and depression, bipolar, and Tourette syndrome.
9. Adults may also have ADHD. Many of adults do not even know they have it. Those suffering from the disease experience difficulty getting organized, keeping a job, remembering appointments, getting up in the morning, and many other things. Adults may have a history of failure at school, problems at work, and failed relationships. Treatment for adults is the same as treatment for children.
10. Efforts are underway to improve treatment and prevention. The expansion of knowledge in genetics, brain imaging, and behavioral research is leading to a better understanding to the causes, how to prevent it, and more effective treatment.
CHAD (children and adults with attention defecit/hyperactivity disorder)
National Institute of Mental Health
Pub Med Health