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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a developmental disorder that occurs to most children below seven years old. This is characterized by an impulsive behavior of a child and inability to focus on one work. They are uneasy and their attention span is very short, this can be noticeable especially during class. They cannot finish the activity they have started because they tend to jump from one task to another. However, if these signs are present it does not necessarily indicate that they have the disorder. As a parent you must seek a physician’s help so as to further evaluate the condition of your child and for you to be aware of the next step to undertake if ever your child is diagnosed with the disorder.

Other Symptoms You Need to Know:

Symptoms of ADHD are divided into three categories which are;

  • Impulsivity
  • Inattentiveness
  • Hyperactivity

Children diagnosed with the disorder often exhibit the inattentive type while others show combination of all types.

Symptoms of Impulsivity

  • Excitability to blurt out answer before the question is completed
  • Impatient; cannot sit still when waiting for his/her turn
  • Butts into conversations which he is not concerned with

Symptoms of Inattentiveness

  • Can be easily distracted
  • Inability or difficulty to focus on one task, often switches from one to another
  • Seems not to listen when spoken to
  • Inability to follow instructions given
  • Difficulty listening or focusing attention  to the teacher during class
  • Difficulty of completing a task
  • Often daydreams
  • Forgetful

 

Symptoms of Hyperactivity

  • Cannot sit still, plays with hands and seems uneasy when instructed to be still
  • Runs around restlessly and climbs wherever it is possible
  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Prefers to do physical activity which involves an excessive use of energy
  • Touches everything that’s in sight

 

Diagnosis of ADHD

As of the moment, there are no proven laboratory tests that can confirm that the child has a disorder; however, if six or more symptoms are present in the child the paediatrician will refer the parents to an expert mental health specialist who will in turn conduct a series of interviews. Parents, Teachers and other significant people who interact with the child will be interviewed regarding the mood and attitude. The specialist will also observe and test the child’s behaviour towards certain situations; this will help them confirm the suspected disorder.

Treatment of ADHD

Treatment includes medications and behavioural therapy, wherein the family will play a very significant role. They will be working hand in hand with the specialist to achieve a better outcome. Frequent follow up checkups should be done to be able to determine if the prescribed medication is effective or if the child is reacting appropriately with the drug. Should there be side effect or an adverse reaction, if informed the soonest, there is a strong chance that the physician can still reverse it and prescribe other medications.

Psycho stimulants or also referred to as stimulants is often prescribed with this case. Although referred as stimulant, children diagnosed with ADHD are calmed with this medication.

Psycho stimulants that are often prescribed to children with this disorder include

  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • Amphetamine- dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate(Vyvanse)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Methyphenidate (Ritalin)

 

The prescribed medication stated above does not guarantee to eradicate the disorder completely but the good thing is, it will trim down the symptoms and it will also help the child develop his level of functioning.
The family should have the right knowledge regarding the disorder for them to manage the child’s behaviour. Proper approach to the child should also be taught to them so as to handle each situation correctly. To make the approach consistent, parents should observe the mechanism used during therapies so they can utilize it when interacting with their children at home. Managing your child’s behaviour can be difficult at first but once you get a hold of it, it will be truly rewarding. Don’t forget to show some passion, care and love to your child, it would surely mean a lot to them and don’t lose your patience and temper because this will surely cost you a lot of understanding but it will all be worth it in the end.

 

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