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Equipped to...Hone in on Hyperactivity
This newsletter introduces Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a comprehensive article found on my website.
Last Friday, September 14, was National ADHD Day. ADHD is one of the most common, yet incurable, childhood disorders. While there is no doubt that many children genuinely suffer from ADHD, there is an increasing and unfortunate trend to too-quickly diagnose a child with the disorder - without proper research into the other potential reasons for the concerning behaviour.
Many problems – some of which are as simple as an undiagnosed ear infection - may cause ADHD-like syptoms. Sometimes, abnormal behaviour may simply be an age-appropriate response to a temporary situation. Only once extensive research by a licensed health professional has been concluded and all other possible causes eliminated, should an ADHD diagnosis be made.
ADHD is a disorder most commonly found in children, although it can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. ADHD has three subtypes:
What Are The Symptoms of ADHD?
The essential feature of ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.
In order for behaviour to be diagnosed as ADHD, the symptoms must create a real handicap in at least two areas of the individual’s life - such as home and at school or work, in the community or in social settings. A child who shows some symptoms should not be diagnosed with ADHD if his or her schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by the behaviours.
Does my Child Have ADHD?
In early childhood it may be difficult to distinguish symptoms of ADHD from age-appropriate behaviours in active children, such as running around or being noisy.
We must remember that most children – especially small children – get distracted, act impulsively and “bounce off the walls” from time to time! This is normal, although it is often mistaken for the onset of ADHD.
True ADHD symptoms usually appear in children between the ages of 3 and 6. However, because all children are different, with differing levels of maturity and behaviour, it can be difficult to make a definitive ADHD diagnosis at this age.
Are you concerned your child may have ADHD? Consult your paediatrician, who may refer you to a psychologist.
What Treatments Are Available?
There is no cure for ADHD, so all currently available treatments are aimed at managing the disorder – reducing the severity of the symptoms and helping the child function more “normally.” These treatments include various medications, psychotherapy, education and/or training, or a combination of some or all of these.
Have something to say?
Are you living with a child with ADHD? How do you manage their disorder, and how has it affected the rest of your family? Please share your experience.
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