ADHD and children
Words and phrases like daydreaming, forgetfulness, can’t follow instructions, troublemakers, too much energy are used to describe certain kids nowadays, but how can you tell if it is just a normal behavior from them growing up,“bad parenting” or a medical condition known as ADHD?
ADHD is a medical chronic condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to the DSM-5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used worldwide defines it as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with normal functioning or development.
The symptoms may start as early as 3 years of age and may continue throughout their lives. It is more common in males, and according to recent studies it is seen in about 5,9 to 7.1% of the population in children and adolescents.
For children, six or more of the symptoms have to be present for over 6 months and negative impact in their quality of life and social interaction has to be present.
There are certain criteria to make a proper diagnosis, but the three key factors are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. They may be inattentive but not share the other two symptoms; hyperactive and impulsive, but able to pay attention or the most common type, which includes all three.
Some of the symptoms related to inattention are: Inattention to details, doesn’t follow instructions and fails to complete schoolwork, trouble with organizing tasks and activities, loses things quite often, is easily distracted by his/her surrounding and forgetful in daily activities.
Symptoms related to hyperactivity and impulsivity are considered kids who fidget, squirm or taps their hands and feet. Talks excessively, has trouble waiting their turn, he/she often interrupts or intrudes on others, runs and climbs in times when it is considered inappropriate, and can’t engage in quiet activities.
Kids are expected to be easily distracted and hyperactive so the impulsive behaviors are the ones that often stand out making it easier to diagnose at an earlier age.
The severity of the disorder should also be known. A mild case will only present few symptoms and minor social or occupational functioning is impaired. In moderate cases, functional and social impairment is noticeable and in severe cases, the symptoms are present and social and functional impairment is very marked.
Diagnosing the disease isn’t as simple as one might think. There are other conditions that are very similar to ADHD and sometimes can even be present with it. Before deciding to start treatment professional healthcare givers must rule out other diseases such as learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, medical conditions like epilepsy, thyroids, neurological and sleep disorders, and psychological and major life events should be studied.
Although it has some negative impacts it is important to know that it may bring itself with positive things that other children wpuldn’t have. Recent studies have shown that children who possess this disease are known to be extraordinarily creative.
Daydreamers in the future can be excellent problem solvers and sometimes notice things that normal children wouldn’t find interesting. They are true artists at heart. They are flexible and tend to adapt easily to their surroundings because they are open to different options and ideas all at once.
Having so much energy, makes them lively and spontaneous and enjoy life more than other kids. If they are motivated properly, they will strive to succeed. Once they are capable of gaining interest in something they like, it is quite difficult to distract them. It is important to remember that ADHD is not a synonym of lack of intelligence or talent.
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