Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children. It can also continue into your adult years. ADHD is a combination of problems like trouble concentrating, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. ADHD is a genetic brain based syndrome. ADHD is caused by chemical, structural and connectivity differences in the brain.
The American Psychological Association outlined criteria required to be diagnosed with ADHD. Children who are 16 and under must show at least 6 symptoms in each category. Adults who are 17 and older must show at least 5 symptoms in each category. The categories include: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
o Fails to give full attention to detail
o Has trouble holding attention on tasks
o Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken too
o Doesn’t follow instructions, loses focus, or becomes side tracked
o Trouble with organized activities
o Avoids tasks that need mental effort for a long period of time
o Forgetful in daily activities
• Hyperactivity and impulsivity
o Fidgets, taps hands and feet
These conditions must also apply:
Inattentive or hyperactivity-impulsive symptoms begin before 12 years old.
Symptoms are present in 2 or more settings
Symptoms interfere with school, work or social life
Symptoms are not better explained by a mental disorder.
Who is at risk for ADHD? ADHD is more common in boys than in girls. Genes also play a role in your risk to develop ADHD. Exposure to toxins like lead during pregnancy or at a young age. Being born with low birth weight, or born prematurely may also play a role in your risk of developing ADHD. There is currently no cure for ADHD. With treatment with medications and therapy can help with symptoms and improve functioning.
There are some things we can do to help children with ADHD. Some helpful tips include:
Organize everyday items
Being clear and consistent
Give praise or rewards when rules are followed.
Use homework and notebook organizers.
For adults with ADHD using these tips can help them:
Use a calendar for scheduling
Assign special places for important items
Break down large tasks into more manageable tasks and steps.
Brayden was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago. When he was diagnosed I didn’t feel like it was the right diagnosis. I felt like he was just being a boy. As he has gotten older the doctors were right. While he may be ADHD it doesn’t change how much we all love him. He is on medication which does make a huge difference. It helps him focus on things longer than he would if he wasn’t on his medications.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this picture. i am not a medical professional. if you are having a medical emergency please contact 911 immediately. This blog is for informational purposes only. if you believe you may have a medical issue contact your local medical provider.