ADHD - Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder that affects children and teen that can continue till adulthood. Children who suffer from ADHD face difficulty in paying attention and staying still. Says Dr. Laura Ginther, a psychologist at the Sand Dollar Wellness Center, Wilmington, “we all have issues with that – especially kids as they are growing up – but the issue with ADHD is that those difficulties are so intense or so pronounced, that they interfere with home, academic, social or work life. So the intensity of the difficulties is what determines this as a disorder, as opposed to somebody who is just a little bit fidgety.”
- There are three different variations of ADHD. Being primarily inactive is having a hard time ignoring distractions and paying attention. Being primarily hyperactive is related to talking excessively and blurting out answers in class or being restless in one place or being fidgety. The third variation is the combination of the first two.
- ADHD can be diagnosed through testing. Once the child begins elementary school, parents are able to detect if their child suffers from ADHD as the symptoms start showing up. But for a diagnosis to be made, a medical professional should be consulted. Says Ginther, “What it usually involves, is a history of the child’s behavior checklists that the parents and teachers often fill out. And frequently, intellectual evaluations - tests of cognitive strengths and weaknesses - to make sure that other disabilities are not confused with ADHD.” Since a hearing or vision issue can be mistaken as ADHD, one must go through the test to avoid such misunderstandings.
- ADHD treatment involves both parents and child. “There is no one medication that works for every child and there is no one dose,” said Ginther. Stimulants or anti-depressants may be prescribed to those suffering from ADHD as medication. The child's treatment involves behavioral intervention that also needs parent's help as it focuses on structures at school as well as at home. If this disorder is not treated, there are more risks of the child being a failure in school, might find difficulties at work and social outings and might also fall prey to substance abuse.
- People often follow the misconceptions about ADHD. If you think playing video games and watching TV might cause ADHD then you're uninformed about the same. Even eating too much sugar and consuming red dye doesn't involve ADHD disorder. Ginther says that the exact causes of ADHD are unknown and he continues to say, “although we know it’s a neuro-developmental process. It’s probably a combination of genetic factors, because we do know that it runs in family, but there isn’t one gene that’s been identified as ADHD.” Also, the biggest misconception about ADHD is that the child will grow out of it. Well, a research says that about 75% of children who are ADHD sufferers continue to experience the symptoms of it even if they're not as strong as they were in their childhood.
- It is advised for parents to work with the school if they doubt their child to be an ADHD sufferer. It is very important for parents to check how their child is doing at school with the school system as teachers are around children for most hours of the school. Parents shouldn't be afraid and rather proactive to seek help if needed as it will only benefit their child.