What is Attention-deficit/hyperactivity ?

what is adhd

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder that can be treated. As the name suggests, it is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. Although the symptoms of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity begin in childhood, it can lead to continuing issues in adolescence and adulthood.

What causes Attention-deficit/hyperactivity ?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This simply means that the ADHD brain is wired differently when compared to a normally developing brain. Any insult to the developing brain such as preterm birth, maternal exposure to drugs and toxins, low birth weight, childhood adversities such as infection and malnutrition and maternal infections can lead to ADHD. Genetics have a definite role to play in ADHD.

What are the symptoms of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity ?

Remember that it is normal for most children to display one or two of these symptoms. For a diagnosis of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity, several of these symptoms must be present consistently and cause impairment in social or academic function. The symptoms of ADHD can be split into three domains.

Inattention

  • Makes careless mistakes in academics.
  • Gets bored easily.
  • Easily distracted easily.
  • Is unable to organize tasks.
  • Has a dislike for tasks that require constant mental effort.
  • Loses things often.
  • Appears forgetful in daily activities.
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Hyperactivity and impulsivity

  • Seems loud and raucous in inappropriate social situations.
  • Is unable to sit in one place.
  • Has difficulty following rules.
  • Is unable to wait for their turn.
  • Excessive physical activity(running around, jumping, climbing) even in inappropriate places.
  • Interrupts others inappropriately.

How is Attention-deficit/hyperactivity treated ?

There are several therapeutic options available for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity. Medication can help reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity. Medication can also improve focus and make academics slightly easier. As a parent, some interventions such as parental skills training can be helpful to improve your ability to deal with your child’s ADHD. Behavioural management can be helpful for some children. Dietary changes can worsen or improve hyperactivity in some children. Refined sugar, sweets and chocolates are common offenders.

Why should Attention-deficit/hyperactivity be treated ?

ADHD might put your child at a disadvantage in several aspects. It could hamper their ability to learn effectively or form relationships. It may affect their self-image and self-esteem as well. It is important to identify ADHD and initiate management early to help your child achieve their full potential.

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