A growing number of children in the U.S. are now being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This mental disorder can cause problems in school, and it can also affect a child’s personal life, as well as their home life, as they become teenagers and young adults.
Learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of ADHD in this comprehensive guide to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by problems with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Although ADHD can’t be cured, it can be treated with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Early diagnosis and treatment is important for the best possible outcome. For example, in young children who have symptoms of inattentiveness but are not impulsive or hyperactive, they will often outgrow their symptoms.
But those who still have these symptoms as they grow older may need to continue taking medication or get additional interventions. Adults may also need to continue receiving treatment if they experience difficulties at work or home due to their ADHD symptoms.
Is my child having problems with ADHD?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders that children and adolescents can have. It is a disorder that can make it hard for a person to pay attention, control impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.
These symptoms can interfere with schoolwork, making friends, and family life. A diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified professional, such as a licensed psychologist. In addition to an interview, this might include written tests or tasks that assess inattentiveness, impulsivity, or hyperactivity.
In many cases when a child has all three symptoms of inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity they are diagnosed with ADHD. Other conditions must also be ruled out before an accurate diagnosis can be made.
What causes ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex disorder that can be caused by a variety of factors. These include genetic predisposition, brain injury, exposure to toxins during pregnancy, and low birth weight. Learn more about birth injury attorney.
ADHD can also be caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or depression. Diet and nutrition may also play a role in the development of ADHD in some cases. Certain medications may help reduce symptoms of ADHD in certain individuals.
There are many treatments for this condition which can vary depending on severity. Medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta are commonly prescribed drugs to treat the symptoms. Behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment option for those with milder cases of ADHD as well.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. People with ADHD may be unable to sit still, control their emotions, or pay attention to detail. They may also take risks without thinking about the consequences. The symptoms of ADHD can vary from person to person.
Some people with ADHD might have trouble concentrating on a task. Others might act out in school, while others might have difficulty following instructions. Some people might find it hard to keep track of things like their homework assignments or deadlines at work.
Other people with ADHD might have problems regulating moods and show signs of depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
Still other individuals might experience physical pain as a result of the stress caused by living with ADHD. Moreover, those with untreated ADHD often suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia and night terrors.
There is no cure for ADHD but there are many treatments that can help manage the symptoms of this disorder so that patients can live more comfortably. Behavioral therapy teaches children strategies for dealing with ADHD-related challenges in school and home settings.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
ADHD is diagnosed using a number of different methods. The most common is a clinical interview, which involves talking to a trained professional about your symptoms.
Other methods include rating scales, questionnaires, and direct observation. ADHD can also be diagnosed using neuropsychological testing, which looks at how well you function in different areas of cognitive functioning.
Families with an individual who has been diagnosed with ADHD may have genetic tests done on other family members for the disorder. If no one else in the family has it, then there are other factors that might contribute to the diagnosis.
A doctor may do an EEG test to check for any abnormalities in brain activity. There are many treatments available for those who have been diagnosed with ADHD – some work better than others, depending on the person’s age and needs.
How to help a child with ADHD?
As a parent, you may feel helpless when your child is diagnosed with ADHD. But there are things you can do to help your child succeed. First, learn all you can about the condition. Then, work with your child’s teachers to create a plan that includes accommodations and behavior management strategies.
You should also make sure your child gets regular exercise and enough sleep. Finally, try to create a calm and structured home environment.
Will the cause of my child’s ADHD affect the way it is treated?
It is important to understand that the cause of your child’s ADHD will not necessarily dictate the way it is treated. For example, if your child has ADHD due to a chemical imbalance, medication may be the best course of action. However, if your child’s ADHD is due to environmental factors, such as a chaotic home life or exposure to lead paint, behavior therapy may be more effective.
The important thing is to work with a professional who can help you determine the best course of action for your child. These professionals include pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, occupational therapists and psychiatrists.
It is also helpful to speak with teachers or other parents who have experience dealing with children who have ADHD in order to learn what strategies might work well for your child.
What kind of things can I do at home to help treat or prevent ADHD?
There are many things you can do at home to help treat or prevent ADHD. Some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For example, eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep are all important for managing ADHD.
You should also avoid things that can make symptoms worse, such as sugar and caffeine. If you have trouble following through with treatment or making changes on your own, talk to your doctor about getting help from a professional.
Your child’s school may be able to provide some extra support by assigning them a teacher’s aide. Your family doctor may also be able to recommend other professionals who specialize in treating ADHD, like occupational therapists and behavior specialists.
While there is no one cause of ADHD, there are several risk factors that can contribute to its development. These include genetic factors, problems with the structure and function of the brain, exposure to environmental toxins, and prenatal exposure to alcohol or tobacco.
There are also some disorders that may overlap with ADHD, such as bipolar disorder and learning disabilities. The main symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is inattentiveness, but this can be paired with any other symptoms from hyperactivity to impulsivity to anxiety. The disorder manifests differently in each person and therefore cannot be identified by a single symptom alone.