What Is It ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that robs children of their ability to focus and pay attention. Without treatment, ADHD can affect a child's development socially and academically. The inability to focus often leads to poor performance in school. Kids who interrupt or cut in line may have trouble making and keeping friends. These setbacks can lead to low self-esteem and risky behaviors. ADHD also increases the risk of childhood depression and anxiety disorders.
What are ADHD Symptoms?
The main symptom of ADHD is the inability to pay attention. Kids may have trouble listening to a speaker, following directions, finishing tasks, or keeping track of personal items. They may daydream often and make careless mistakes. Children with ADHD tend to avoid activities that require sustained concentration or that might be boring.
Another component of ADHD is the inability to sit still. Children may run and climb on things constantly, even when indoors. When they are seated, they tend to squirm, fidget, or bounce. Some kids with ADHD talk excessively and find it difficult to play quietly.
A third symptom is impulsiveness – cutting in line, interrupting others, or blurting out answers before the teacher finishes a question. This aspect of ADHD makes it difficult for children to wait their turn or think before they act.
What are the causes of ADHD?
ADHD has biological origins that aren't yet clearly understood. No single cause has been identified, but researchers are exploring a number of possible genetic and environmental links. Studies have shown that many kids with ADHD have a close relative who also has the disorder.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
There are no lab tests to detect ADHD. Instead, doctors rely on the patient's response to questions, the family's description of behavior problems, and a school assessment. "Conner's Rating scale" can help to score the ADHD at home and school.
To be considered for a diagnosis of ADHD, a child must display discussed behaviors before age 7; these behaviors must be more severe than in other kids the same age; the behaviors must last for at least 6 months; and the behaviors must negatively affect at least two areas of a child's life (such as school, home, day-care settings, or friendships). The behaviors must also not only be linked to stress at home.
Will my child outgrow this ADHD?
With treatment, a large majority of children with ADHD improve. They should continue to undergo regular follow-up since many kids grow out of the disorder as they get older. But more than half of patients continue experiencing symptoms once they reach adulthood
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