ADHD

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD ?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a common childhood behavioural disorder affecting the child ability to focus, organize and complete a task. They often act impulsively without thinking and are easily distracted. Though this type of behaviour is common among children what differentiates ADHD from normal children by persistence of symptoms and affects the child’s academic and social life. The primary symptoms of ADHD are inattention (lack of focus), hyper activeness (restlessness) and impulsiveness. The degree of symptoms varies child to child but depending on the dominating indications ADHD is classified as Predominately Inattentive, Predominately hyperactive, or Combined.

Symptoms of ADHD-

The primary symptoms of ADHD are

Inattention: Here, mainly children lacks focus in completing tasks and appear day dreaming. The children may be:

  • Highly distracted
  • Forgetful or Absent minded
  • Does not pay attention to his/her work making too many mistakes
  • Has trouble focusing and gets side tracked easily
  • Has difficulty in following instructions
  • Misplaces or loses things easily
  • Does not like to do tasks which require concentration

Hyperactivity- or restlessness. Here

  • The child is constantly moving or fidgeting and cannot sit still
  • Cannot wait for his turn to play or answer questions
  • Interrupts others constantly
  • Appear very restless, their hands or feet are always in motion
  • Cannot play quietly
  • Gets anger easily
  • They keep jumping from one activity to another
  • Gets bored quickly

Impulsiveness- Here the child

  • Lacks self control
  • Has trouble for awaiting his turn
  • Mood swings
  • Do not have emotional restraint.

Causes for ADHD-

The exact cause for ADHD is not known though there are many theories. The risk factors are

  • Genetic- it has been noticed that ADHD runs in family, hence it is suspected that genes play a role
  • Low Birth weight or Premature birth
  • Maternal factors like smoking or drinking during pregnancy
  • Hypoxic condition during child birth
  • Environmental factors like exposure to Lead, Mercury
  • Dietary issues like few protein deficiency, certain food additives etc.

Diagnosis

There are no single diagnostic tests for ADHD. It is based on analysis and assessment of a child’s behaviour pattern, cognitive skills and development by trained doctors or psychologists depending on persistence of symptoms, age of the child and symptom severity.


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