Attention deficit disorder symptoms are often genetic
Attention deficit disorder symptoms are characterized by inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. For these problems to be diagnosed as Attention deficit disorder (ADHD), they must be out of the normal range for the child's age and development. ADHD affects school performance and relationships with others. Parents of children with ADHD are often exhausted and frustrated.
Scientific studies, using advanced neuroimaging techniques of brain structure and function, show that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. These children handle neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin, and adrenalin) differently from their peers.
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ADHD is often genetic. Whatever the specific cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is
Depression, sleep deprivation, learning disabilities, tic disorders, and behavior problems may be confused with, or appear
along with Attention deficit disorder symptoms. Every child suspected of having ADHD deserves a careful evaluation to sort
out exactly what is contributing to the concerning behaviors.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, affecting an estimated 3 -
5% of school aged children. It is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls. Most children with ADHD also have at least
one other developmental or behavioral problem.
Attention deficit disorder symptoms
Attention deficit disorder symptoms are categorized into those of inattentiveness and those of hyperactivity/impulsivity.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, children should have at least 6 attention symptoms or 6 activity/impulsivity symptoms, to a degree
beyond what would be expected for children their age. The symptoms must be present for at least 6 months, observable in 2 or
more settings, and not caused by another problem. The symptoms must be severe enough to cause significant difficulties. Some
symptoms must be present before age 7. Older children who still have symptoms, but no longer meet the full definition, have
ADHD in partial remission.
Some children with Attention deficit disorder symptoms primarily have the Inattentive Type, some the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, and some the Combined Type. Those with the Inattentive type are less disruptive and are easier to miss being diagnosed with ADHD.
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
- Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
- Easily distracted
- Often forgetful in daily activities
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
- Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
- Difficulty playing quietly
- Often "on the go", acts as if "driven by a motor", talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Difficulty awaiting turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)
Too often, difficult children are incorrectly labeled with ADHD. On the other hand, many children who do have ADHD remain
undiagnosed. In either case, related learning disabilities or mood problems are often missed. The American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines to bring more clarity to this issue.
The diagnosis is based on very specific Attention deficit disorder symptoms, which must be present in more than one setting.
The child should have a clinical evaluation if ADHD is suspected.
Treatment for Attention deficit disorder symptoms
The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for treating ADHD:
- Set specific, appropriate target goals to guide therapy.
- Medication and/or behavior therapy should be started.
- When treatment has not met the target goals, evaluate the original diagnosis, the possible presence of other conditions,
and how well the treatment plan has been implemented.
- Systematic follow-up is important to regularly reassess target goals, results, and any side effects of medications.
- Information should be gathered from parents, teachers, and the child.
Attention deficit disorder symptoms are a frustrating problem. Children who receive both behavioral treatment and medication
often do the best. Medications should not be used just to make life easier for the parents or the school. There are now
several different classes of ADHD medications that may be used alone or in combination. The following will also help:
ADHD is a long-term, chronic condition. About half of the children with ADHD will continue to have troublesome symptoms of
inattention or impulsivity as adults. However, adults are often more capable of controlling behavior and masking difficulties.
- Limit distractions in the child's environment.
- Provide one-on-one instruction with teacher.
- Make sure the child gets enough sleep.
- Make sure the child gets a healthy, varied diet, with plenty of fiber and complete nutrients.
- Health supplements should be considered. A number of natural nutrients have been shown to help. Click here to learn more
Every effort should be made to manage Attention deficit disorder symptoms and direct the child's energy to constructive and educational paths.
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