Children are small bundles of enthusiasm and energy. It’s hard to juggle their vitality and keeping them occupied for long periods is an achievement in itself. They are easy to get distracted, have patience that lasts like a bubble and can get very anxious. However, these characteristics gradually disappear as the child gets older. But this is not always the case. Some children remain hyperactive and have difficulty concentrating, paying attention, or exercising self-control, no matter the severity of the situation. This may even lead to a difficult time academically and socially. Such children, most often, suffer from what we call ADHD.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes unusual levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While we all experience varying levels of attention and activity at one time or another, it is more frequent and extreme for those with ADHD. Children ages 3 to 12 are most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. However, in most cases, symptoms improve or become less pronounced with age, but sometimes, ADHD can persist into adulthood. Early diagnosis and conscious efforts can help those with ADHD. Read the article to learn about ADHD and help those you care about.
Does your child have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Restlessness and impulsivity are common features among children. They are known to have short attention spans and no activity can keep them occupied for very long. Even for older children and teens, it is their attention that influences how well they pay attention.
The same goes for hyperactivity. Children are so naturally active that adults get tired of them. Likewise, some children may be more active than others and that is perfectly fine. Just because your child’s energy level is different from his peers doesn’t mean he has ADHD.
Remember that it is perfectly normal for children to have trouble concentrating or acting at one time or another. However, children with ADHD cannot outgrow these behavioral characteristics. There are also some other signs that your child may have or develop ADHD. Let’s discuss them at length.
While this disorder can be diagnosed at any age, it usually begins in childhood. Regarding its diagnosis, the person concerned must have symptoms before he or she reaches the age of 12 years. Another important aspect is that the symptoms must be located outside one place. This means that if a child is having difficulty following instructions at school and cannot understand what is being taught, they should be the same at home as well or vice versa. With this in mind, ADHD can be divided into 3 subtypes:
1. Mostly inattentive presentation
You can consider an individual to be “oblivious” if they are easily distracted and therefore have trouble concentrating on tasks or activities such as long conversations or lectures. They can’t pay close attention because they make reckless mistakes. They don’t even listen when you talk to them directly and seem lost in their thoughts. Following the instructions or completing the given work seemed impossible for them. Time management is another problem that leads to disorganized schedules and missed deadlines. They avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as preparing reports or completing a project. The distractions around them make them lose sight of other important things like daily chores or errands. They may forget to return your calls, keep appointments, or pay bills. They also don’t care about everyday things like keys, wallets, cell phones, glasses, etc.
This type of ADHD often goes undiagnosed because it doesn’t cause much harm to those around it. Indifferent children are mistakenly seen as having less interest in studies and are often ignored because they do not disturb the classroom.
2. Often hyperactive/impulsive presentation
Excessive movements such as fidgeting in the hands or legs and talking nonstop are signs of hyperactivity. Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking about the consequences.
An individual may be considered “hyperactive” or “impulsive” if it is not possible to sit in one place for a long time and the hands or feet rest, press or squirm in their seat. It may seem that they are always “on the go” as if they are being driven by an engine. You may see them running or climbing where this is not only inappropriate, but also dangerous. Hyperactive children like to talk and can’t even do fun activities quietly or on their own. Their inquiries never end and the next question may appear even before you answer the previous one. They hate waiting their turn. This may seem like intrusive behavior where they interrupt conversations, games, or activities and jump in with their thoughts and ideas when others are speaking.
According to research, the final symptoms of ADHD/ADHD are most likely to appear by the time a child reaches 7 years of age.
3. Combined offer
People with ADHD together show symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity. These include being easily distracted and impulsive and having above-average levels of activity and energy.
Now that you know the symptoms of ADHD, it would be easy to distinguish a child or adult with ADHD, right? It may seem obvious at first but if you look closely, these symptoms may seem to be present to some degree in almost all children. How do we differentiate between children? We’ll get to that but first, let’s get to the roots, i.e. find out what actually causes ADHD.
Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
The exact cause of ADHD is still unknown. However, researchers suggest that a number of factors may be why a child has ADHD.
There is scientific evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder. It has been found to affect close relatives of people with this disorder. However, it is important to note that ADHD has also been diagnosed in individuals who do not have a family history of the condition. This indicates that a person’s environment and a host of other factors can also influence whether or not they will develop this disorder.
2. Exposure to neurotoxins
Exposure to neurotoxins such as lead pesticides and organophosphates may also cause ADHD in some individuals. Research indicates that lead exposure is potentially associated with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
3. Smoking and consumption of alcohol and drugs
Research suggests that prenatal exposure to smoking, alcohol, or drugs increases the risk of ADHD in children.
4. Brain injury
Damage to the frontal lobe, the front part of the brain during birth or otherwise, is another cause of ADHD. It causes problems controlling impulses and emotions that can translate into ADHD.
5. Chemical imbalance
Dopamine is a brain chemical that regulates emotional responses. It is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Studies show that people with ADHD have lower dopamine levels compared to others without the disorder, and therefore they seek more in order to please themselves. In conjunction with this, research suggests that people with ADHD have less gray matter in their brains. Gray matter is directly related to speech, decision-making, muscle control, and self-control.
Define attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
If you suspect your child has ADHD, talk to the doctor about getting an evaluation. Provide them with notes and observations about your child’s behavior indicating ADHD. Depending on your vision, the doctor may refer your child to an ADHD specialist or a psychiatrist.
There is no test that can confirm whether your child has ADHD, and its symptoms can sometimes overlap with other health conditions. A number of medical conditions or their treatments may cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD. Some examples include learning or language problems, mood disorders such as depression or anxiety, seizure disorders, vision or hearing problems, autism spectrum disorder, medical problems or medications that affect thinking or behavior, sleep disorders, brain injuries etc. It is important to consult a health care professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your child.
To diagnose ADHD, a health care professional will evaluate the symptoms your child has had for the past six months. They will likely collect information from teachers or family members and may use checklists and rating scales to review symptoms.
Furthermore, healthcare professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association as guidelines for diagnosing ADHD. This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are correctly diagnosed and appropriately treated for ADHD.
Besides, your child may have to take a number of tests to check his neurological and psychological condition to confirm ADHD. The tests should be performed by a pediatrician or mental health provider experienced in diagnosing and treating ADHD.
Tests may include:
- Examine your child’s and your family’s medical and social history.
- The physical exam and neurological evaluation include examinations of vision, hearing, verbal and motor skills.
- Assessment of intelligence, aptitude and processing skills. This may also include personality traits. This is often done with input from parents and teachers if the child is of school age.
- A test called the Electroencephalographic-Based Assessment (NEBA) system, which measures theta and beta brain waves. Theta/beta ratio has been shown to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without ADHD.
Based on your child’s performance results and the information gathered through their research, the doctor will recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help your child.
This brings us to a very important question; Is that all you need to do to help your child with ADHD? No, it is actually the beginning of our efforts. Timid? Let’s explain.
Parenting is not easy and raising a child with ADHD is as difficult as it is difficult. However, it is important that you understand your child’s particular situation and act accordingly. Be patient, your best friend. Be a role model for your child. Do everything the way you want. Keep calm and focused behaviors. Be disciplined, follow a schedule and make sure other caregivers stick to your method, too.
Your child may have low self-esteem because he makes silly mistakes and has problems processing information. Make it your responsibility to maintain their trust. Speak to your child in simple language. Speak slowly and break down the instructions for easy understanding; Instead of saying “Get ready to party,” say “Pick up your outfit for the evening and get dressed.” Make eye contact with them while they are talking. Reward them for good behavior and encourage them to do more of it.
While ADHD is not a learning disability, it can affect your child’s academic performance. do not bother me. Behavioral and behavioral problems are also more common in children with ADHD than in others. These disturbances stem from the feeling that those around them are misunderstood. Explain to your child what is acceptable behavior by setting simple and clear rules. Any breach should follow consequences such as timeouts or loss of privileges. The timeouts should be relatively short, but long enough for your child to regain control. The idea is to interrupt and spread out-of-control behavior. When they keep their impulses in check, appreciate them.
Experts suggest that exercise helps control impulses and other behavioral problems in children with ADHD. Motivate your child to play sports such as basketball, soccer or badminton. Not only will it be a good exercise, but teach them social skills like following rules and taking turns. Furthermore, research suggests that spending time outdoors can help calm hyperactive minds and may relieve ADHD symptoms.