Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder commonly known as ADHD is a very common neurodevelopmental condition in both adults and children. In childhood is when doctors first diagnose this condition and it usually lasts all the way into adulthood. Kids with ADHD might have trouble controlling impulsive behaviours, paying attention, or might be overly active sometimes.
Symptoms usually determine which type of ADHD a patient has. The symptoms can change which means you can develop different types of the condition with time. These are the known types of ADHD:
Inattentive ADHD: This type is characterized by symptoms such as getting easily distracted, having poor concentration and organizational skills.
Combination ADHD: Exclusive types don’t experience specific symptoms. Instead, they experience symptoms of the other types of ADHD.
Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD: When you have this type of ADHD, you may notice that you never seem to slow down, talk a lot, are impatient, fidget a lot, and find it difficult to stay on task.
Scientists and researchers worldwide are studying both the risk factors and causes of ADHD in an effort to find more effective ways to reduce the chances and manage the risks of having ADHD. What causes ADHD is still largely unknown. However, recent studies have shown that genes play a very big part in it. In addition to genes, experts are researching other possible causes including:
- Tobacco, alcohol use or drug use during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Brain injury
- Exposure to environmental toxins such as high levels of lead at a young age.
Most of the studies that have been conducted don’t support the school of thought that ADHD disorder is caused because of watching too much TV, eating too much sugar or parenting, or social factors like family chaos and poverty. Yes, some of these things can help make the condition worse, but they can’t scientifically be considered causes.
Signs and Symptoms
It’s normal for kids to have trouble behaving the right way or focusing from time to time. But, kids that suffer from this condition don’t just naturally grow out of such behaviours. The symptoms can be severe, can continue until adulthood, and can cause problems at home, work, school, or even with friends.
People that suffer from this neurodevelopmental condition might;
- Lose or forget things a lot
- Fidget or squirm
- Daydream a lot
- Talk too much
- Problems getting along with other people
Knowing whether someone has ADHD involves very many different steps. There’s no one specific test. There are also many other disorders that have similar signs and symptoms such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. With that said, the first you’ll have to go through is a medical examination, including both vision and hearing tests, so that you can rule out the disorders that have similar symptoms.
This condition, in many cases, is best treated with both medication and behaviour therapy. For young kids with ADHD, the first thing most parents will be advised to do is put the child through behaviour therapy before they start using medication. The child themselves will help determine what treatment will be the most effective.
Good treatment techniques will involve things like making changes wherever needed, conducting follow-ups, and close monitoring of the child.
Stimulant medications are also used to treat ADHD in both adults and children. In fact, they’re currently some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for ADHD. Stimulant medications appear to balance and boost brain chemical levels. These drugs help improve the symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention. Some of the most common ones include amphetamines, like Adderall and Dexedrine, and Methylphenidates, like Ritalin and Focalin.
All children should generally be as healthy as possible, however, it becomes even more important for kids with ADHD. In addition to medication and therapy, giving a child with ADHD a healthy lifestyle will help them cope with symptoms better. Some of the health behaviours that can sometimes help include ensuring that they have plenty of vegetables and fruits in their diet and making sure that they participate in different physical activities.
If you suspect you or your child might be suffering from ADHD, you might want to consider seeking the advice of a psychiatrist, developmental physician, or psychologist.