Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is diagnosed usually in childhood. Although ADHD may begin in childhood, it can very well continue through adolescence and adulthood and hence is not just a childhood disorder. It is a condition that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control his/her impulsive behaviors. The persons suffering from ADHD remains restless and almost constantly active.
Many children go through brief phases where they're restless or inattentive, which is perfectly normal. However, children with ADHD remain hyperactive, have trouble paying attention and are unable control their impulses over a prolonged period of time. These behaviors start interfering with school and home life. ADHD has been noticed to be more common in boys than in girls. It’s usually discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old. Even though hyperactivity tends to waive of as the child becomes a teen but if left untreated, then problems with inattention, and poor impulse control often continue through the adulthood.
The exact cause of ADHD isn’t known although current research suggests that ADHD may be caused by a combination of genetic and environment factors including -
When it comes to ADHD, no one diagnosis fits all. The American Psychiatric Association has identified three types of ADHD, each with different symptoms and treatments:
1. Inattentive Type - A children with 'Inattentive Type' ADHD must have atleast 6 of these 9 symptoms, and very few of the symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive type:
If you think that you or your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you should consider meeting a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist for a formal assessment.
There's no single test to diagnose ADHD. Instead, most good specialists rely on several things, including speaking to parents, personally observing the child, questionnaires, rating scales and psychological tests.
It is critical for the doctor to find out how much a child’s symptoms are affecting his daily moods, productivity, behaviour and habits. To rule out other conditions, the doctor might ask for hearing/eyesight tests as well as blood test for lead levels.