Childhood Disorders: ADHD

I have been hesitant to write about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD because it is a complicated disorder that has a lot of buzz around it. While I believe in the legitimacy of the disorder, I also think it does tend to be over diagnosed (both by professionals and parents). It seems to be the go to diagnosis for any child with extra energy or who has trouble adapting to a typical school system. With that being said, a child who has ADHD and gets a proper diagnosis and treatment can learn to not only manage the disorder, but can excel in all areas of life.

While adults can have ADHD, symptoms begin in childhood and are present before the age of 12. Symptoms include; being in constant motion, excessive squirming and fidgeting, inability to listen, trouble finishing tasks, excessive talking and the interruption of others, trouble playing quietly, and are easily distracted. ADHD can be broken down into three types.

  1. The first type is inattentive type and can be trickier to diagnose. Children with inattentive type are not excessively active but have a really difficult time paying attention.
  2. With hyperactive/impulsive type children are excessively active and impulsive but are able to pay attention.
  3. The third type, which is the most common, is a combination of all symptoms.

Treatment for ADHD can include both medication and behavioral therapy. It has been found that kids who do a combination of both treatments, not just medication, are more successful in managing their symptoms in the long term. Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are more susceptible to additional mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, so it is important to keep watch and ensure the proper supports are in place.

Schools are becoming more understanding of students who have ADHD, with various resources, tools, and accommodations available to help students succeed. ADHD may create some challenges for kids, families, and schools, but with proper support and treatment these challenges don’t have to interfere with success.

Danielle

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