Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) : It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.
A child with ADHD might:
- daydream a lot
- forget or lose things a lot
- squirm or fidget
- talk too much
- make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
- have a hard time resisting temptation
- have trouble taking turns
- have difficulty getting along with others
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.
There are three different types of ADHD, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual:
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
- Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
Risk factors for ADHD may include:
Although sugar is a popular suspect in causing hyperactivity, there's no reliable proof of this. Many issues in childhood can lead to difficulty sustaining attention, but that's not the same as ADHD.
ADHD can make life difficult for children. Children with ADHD:
- Often struggle in the classroom, which can lead to academic failure and judgment by other children and adults
- Tend to have more accidents and injuries of all kinds than do children who don't have ADHD
- Tend to have poor self-esteem
- Are more likely to have trouble interacting with and being accepted by peers and adults
- Are at increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse and other delinquent behavior
ADHD doesn't cause other psychological or developmental problems. However, children with ADHD are more likely than others to also have conditions such as:
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD),generally defined as a pattern of negative, defiant and hostile behavior toward authority figures
- Conduct disorder, marked by antisocial behavior such as stealing, fighting, destroying property, and harming people or animals
- Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,characterized by irritability and problems tolerating frustration
- Learning disabilities, including problems with reading, writing, understanding and communicating
- Substance use disorders, including drugs, alcohol and smoking
- Anxiety disorders, which may cause overwhelming worry and nervousness, and include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, which includes depression as well as manic behavior
- Autism spectrum disorder, a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others
- Tic disorder or Tourette syndrome,disorders that involve repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that can't be easily controlled