Signs & Symptoms
Children diagnosed with ADHD tend to have learning difficulties due to their inability to concentrate, absorb information and complete tasks or homework. A sign that your child may have ADHD is when he or she displays the following characteristics:
- Your child has a tendency to act before thinking of the consequences
- He often jumps from one activity to the next
- Displays a sense of disorganisation
- Has a tendency to interrupt a conversation or activity
- Your child is always active, restless or has problems sitting still.
- Holding your child's attention is difficult or he has difficulty staying focused and completing a task.
What causes it
ADHD appears to be secondary to changes in neurochemical functions in the parts of the brain which control attention, focus and self-regulation.
About the condition
ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterised by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness and inattention, with a component of hyperactivity in some patients. It is diagnosed in about one in 20 individuals with symptoms starting before 7 years of age.
The disorder is diagnosed twice as frequently in boys and about 60-70% of ADHD sufferers continue to have symptoms throughout their teenage and adult years. Delays in diagnosis are common among children with predominantly inattentive symptoms because they are not necessarily disruptive at home or in school. In such cases, the disorder becomes more apparent as academic demands increase and responsibilities mount.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Proper diagnosis starts with a licensed health professional who gathers information about the child, and his / her behavior and environment. ADHD can be diagnosed by a range of physicians including developmental paediatricians, psychiatrists and neurologists.
Because only about 25-30% of individuals with ADHD eventually 'outgrow' the patterns, Therefore, it is important to address the condition early. While there is no 'cure' for ADHD, the available treatment options seek to help the child cope with and manage the condition effectively. These come in the form of drugs and behavioral therapy, or a combination of both in some instances.
Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to help the child develop solid, basic academic skills as well as areas of personal and specialised strengths.