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ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER(ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

 

ADHD has three subtypes:1
• Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
• Predominantly inattentive
• Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
With treatment, most people with ADHD can be successful in school and lead productive lives.

Symptoms of ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.

Children who have symptoms of inattention may:
• Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
• Have difficulty focusing on one thing
• Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
• Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
• Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
• Not seem to listen when spoken to
• Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
• Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
• Struggle to follow instructions.

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
• Fidget and squirm in their seats
• Talk nonstop
• Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
• Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
• Be constantly in motion
• Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
• Be very impatient
• Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
• Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
• Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.

Causes
• Genes. Inherited from parents.
• Environmental factors.
• Brain injuries.
• Epilepsy
• Sugar.
• Food additives.

Diagnosis:
No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD.:

Treatment
• Medications
• Psychotherapy
• Behavioral therapy aims to help a child change his or her behavior.
  Therapists may teach children social skills, such as how to wait their turn, share toys, ask for help, or respond to teasing. Learning to read   facial expressions and the tone of voice in others, and how to respond appropriately can also be part of social skills training.
• Sensory integration therapy
• Counseling
• Diet changes

Tips to Help Kids Stay Organized and Follow Directions Schedule
Keep the same routine every day, from wake-up time to bedtime. Include time for homework, outdoor play, and indoor activities. Keep the schedule on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board in the kitchen. Write changes on the schedule as far in advance as possible. Organize everyday items. Have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. This includes clothing, backpacks, and toys.


Use homework and notebook organizers. Use organizers for school material and supplies. Stress to your child the importance of writing down assignments and bringing home the necessary books.


Be clear and consistent. Children with ADHD need consistent rules they can understand and follow.

 

Give praise or rewards when rules are followed. Children with ADHD often receive and expect criticism. Look for good behavior, and praise it.

Coexisting disorders
• A learning disability.
• Oppositional defiant disorder.
• Conduct disorder. Anxiety and depression. Treating ADHD may help to decrease anxiety or some forms of depression.
• Bipolar disorder.
• Tourette syndrome.
• ADHD also may coexist with a sleep disorder, bed-wetting, substance abuse, or other disorders or illnesses.