What is ADHD?
ADHD is a mental disorder that is known to cause above normal levels of hyperactivity and results in disruptive behavior. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders that occurs among children and experts usually diagnose it early in childhood and it often lasts even upto adulthood. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD causes individuals to have difficulty in concentrating, controlling their impulses, being able to sit still, being able to pay full attention, being able to stay organized, being able to following instructions and remember details.
One of the most common complication that can be seen among individuals with the condition is that they have trouble getting along with their peers, family members and even co-workers. Have you experienced concentration difficulties, do you find it hard to sit still, do you interrupt others during a conversation or do you act impulsively without taking a second to think things through? For normal people, these can occur from time to time but if the behavior tends to be uncontrollable, persistent and interferes with one’s ability to form long lasting relationships or friendships, then one can be said to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What are the causes of ADHD?
People share genetic material which means a family through generations will be able to share some common characteristics. For example, if parents have brown eyes, there is a likelihood that their children will have brown eyes. According to experts, ADHD can occur among people and be shared across generations due to genes. The rate of occurrence is higher in families therefore if a child has it, it generally means that one of the family members has it too.
Exposure to toxics
The human body is susceptible to toxins which are derived from various substances or activities one engages in. For example smoking, drinking alcohol and working in chemical factories. When pregnant women smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, they increase toxins in their bodies which are passed on to the unborn child. Exposure to lead has been found to have a link with hyperactivity especially when the child is exposed in the first three years of growth and development. Nicotine, alcohol and lead are toxic to the brain tissues and have effects on the behavior of a child especially those who have been exposed to them during early stages of growth.
Brain injury as a result of trauma, brain tumor, stroke or diseases has been found to contribute greatly to the occurrence or existence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The above causes result in inattention and poor regulation of motor activity and impulses.
Types of ADHD
CDC has been able to identify 3 types of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and they are usually defined according to the symptoms that stand out.
Predominantly inattentive type
This is a type of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder where a person has difficulty in organizing and finishing a task. People who have this condition find it hard to pay attention to details and even have difficulty in following instructions and conversations.
Predominantly Hyperactive impulsive
Individuals who have this condition usually find it hard to stay still therefore they keep fidgeting and talk a lot. For children with this condition, they will continually jump, run and climb atop things without the slightest display of being tired or knowing the risks they are putting themselves into. The children will be restless and impulsive that is they will be interrupting others, grabbing things from around them and speak at inappropriate times. They will have difficulty in waiting for their turn and will find it hard to listen to directions therefore an individual with this type of condition will have more injuries and accidents than others.
A person who has this condition will display all symptoms found in predominantly inattentive and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive conditions. This means that at this stage, all symptoms will stand out equally.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
For children, it is normal to have trouble focusing and behaving but for children with this condition, they don’t grow out of these behaviors. If the symptoms continue, they can cause difficulty at school, at home and with friends.
- Signs and symptoms that can be identified include
- Daydreaming most of the time
- Forgetting or losing things constantly
- Squirming of fidgeting a lot
- Talking too much
- One makes careless mistakes or usually takes unnecessary risks
- One has a hard time resisting temptation
- One has trouble taking turns
- One has difficulty getting along with others
Treatment of ADHD
It is important to understand that while the condition does not have a sure treatment method, it can be managed successfully. Experts’ advice parents to work closely with everyone involved in the treatment of the child and that is teachers, coaches, therapists and family members. There are methods that will ensure your child is able to manage the condition and they include:
Behavioural therapy for ADHD
Behavioural treatment has been found to help in reducing majority of signs and symptoms displayed by patients. The therapy should be started immediately diagnosis has been made. Below are few tips that can help with your child’s behavioural therapy.
- Develop a routine – it is important to establish the same schedule everyday
- Become organized – Parents need to place the child items such as toys, clothing and school bag in the same place.
- Eliminate distractions – turn off the TV, radio and computer especially when your child is finishing the homework
- Limit their choices when it comes to the certain items
- Develop and utilize a goal and rewards scheme
- Assist your child in discovering their talent
Medication for ADHD
Medication is very important as it can help one to manage their day and can become a child’s valuable treatment plan. Medication helps to control behaviour that has led to trouble. Types of medications that can be used include:
a.Stimulants – they are the best known and most used form of treatment. Experts have been able to find that 70 to 80 percent of children with the condition respond positively to the medication.
b.Non stimulants – this form of treatment has been found to have few side effects and are able to last up to 24 hours.
Parental support and training
Parental support and training is an important part of treating a child with the condition. This form of treatment has been successful in teaching parents how to assist their children in becoming organized, develop problem solving skills and be able to cope with the condition. This form of treatment can be conducted in groups or with individual families and is usually offered by therapists or in special classes.