What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children/adolescents and may persist into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in children. Children with this problem may be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses. You can find more information below.

What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , or ADHD for short , is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood.

Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behavior (acting without thinking about the outcome), or may be overactive.

Causes and risk factors for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Scientists are examining the causes and risk factors to find better ways to manage and reduce the symptoms of a person with ADHD. The causes and risk factors of ADHD are unknown, but current research suggests that genetic factors play an important role.

In addition to genetics, scientists are examining other possible causes and risk factors, including:

  • brain damage
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals during pregnancy or at a young age
  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
  • Early birth
  • low birth weight

The research does not support the widely accepted view that ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar, watching too much television, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos .

Of course, many things, including these, can make symptoms worse, especially in some people. However, the evidence is not strong enough to conclude that these are the main causes of ADHD.

What are the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

There are three things you should ask yourself in this situation:

  1. Does your child often overlook important details and make many careless mistakes?
  2. Does he/she constantly move his/her hands and feet or have cravings for it?
  3. Does he have a hard time waiting for his turn or does he get impatient?
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These three questions are just a small selection from the questionnaire to clarify ADHD based on three diagnostic features such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity .

For the diagnosis of ADHD , additional criteria must be met, such as that the observed abnormalities have been present for at least six months and are causing problems , for example, at school, at home, and in various areas of life .

Also, people with ADHD often have talents, too. They are often very intelligent and creative, witty, helpful, and have developed imaginations.

attention deficit disorder

Also known as “silent ADHD”, the attention deficit disorder (ADD) variant has only inattention and impulsivity, but no hyperactivity. Those affected are perceived by other people as dreaming and are extremely careless.

When should you see a doctor?

If you are concerned that your child is showing signs of ADHD, you should consult your pediatrician or family doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or child neurologist.

It is important to have a medical evaluation first to check for other possible causes of your child’s symptoms.

How is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosed?

Although all children exhibit ADHD-like behavior from time to time, the child with ADHD has symptoms of inattention or impulsivity from hyperactivity.

However, it is not enough for a child to have these symptoms before ADHD is diagnosed; it must also satisfy the following conditions:

  • The symptoms must be causing problems.
  • Symptoms must cause problems in more than two settings (such as home and school).
  • The symptoms must have been present in some form in the child before the age of 12.

It is very important to follow the three steps below when diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

  1. describe symptoms or behaviors that occur when there is no problem in the natural environment
  2. Eliminating other possible causes of symptoms
  3. Observing behaviors that occur at the same time as the main symptoms
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A child with ADHD symptoms may pay focused attention to activities they find interesting. For example, these children may spend hours in front of a screen playing video games, but may have trouble finishing even simple homework, throw tantrums when you insist, and refuse to do chores or schoolwork.

This also affects parental behavior; parents need to give repetitive reminders for the child to do simple tasks (such as getting ready for school). Fascination, or automatic attention, is almost always observed in children with ADHD. However, they may have difficulty with what their mother or teacher wants attention to, for example.

It is difficult to do the tasks that need to be directed and requires much more effort. Because of these circumstances, parents should carefully observe the child in various situations to ensure that the assessment is complete.

How is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treated?

First of all, the treating psychologist or doctor should talk with the affected child/adolescent and their parents to clarify what goals the treatment should achieve.

Individual therapy goals may be, for example, to strengthen the person’s self-esteem , enable them to experience success, improve their emotions, and acquire more pleasant skills at home/school.

The core symptoms of ADHD , possible accompanying symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, depression or anxiety , and the emotion associated with the symptoms can be very different in different people. Therefore, many different treatment approaches can be considered separately.

Medication

Medication can help children manage their ADHD symptoms in their daily lives. It can also help them control behaviors that cause difficulties in family, among friends, and at school.

  • Stimulants are the best-known and most widely used ADHD medications. 70-80% of children with ADHD have fewer ADHD symptoms while taking these fast-acting drugs.
  • Non-stimulant drugs do not work as quickly as stimulants. A non-stimulant drug was approved for the treatment of ADHD in 2003, but their effect can only last up to 24 hours.

Medications can affect children differently and cause side effects such as decreased appetite or sleep problems. A child may respond well to one drug, but not to another.

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Your doctor may need to try different medications and doses. Doctors need to monitor and adjust drug dosage to find the right balance between benefits and side effects. Parents should also help the doctor in this regard.

Behavioral treatments

Behavioral treatments for ADHD may include:

  • Behavior change: The child’s behavior is analyzed, strategies are designed to increase appropriate behavior and reduce inappropriate behavior.
  • Behavioral parent training : This trains parents to respond to a child’s behavior in a way that fosters growth, development and fosters a positive parent-child relationship. Parent training often takes place at the same time as behavior change or social skills training for the child.
  • Social skills training : This teaches social skills that will develop the child’s ability to act positively and effectively at school, at home, with peers. It also provides an environment to practice skills in a safe and acceptable environment.
  • Organizational skills training : It is often helpful to teach skills that will help older children develop time management and organizational skills and increase productivity at home and at school.

alternative treatments

Parents should be careful when considering alternative treatments. Few alternative or complementary treatments have been shown to be helpful for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Some studies have found mild benefits of omega-3 supplements, massage therapy, and mindfulness training. Attention training is proving to work in many treatments, including ADHD.

Other alternative treatments for ADHD that have proven unhelpful in controlled scientific studies or may even be harmful include:

  • allergy treatment
  • Megavitaminler
  • herbal supplements
  • Biofeedback
  • limited diets
  • motion therapy
  • motion sickness treatment
  • eye movement training

Can attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be prevented?

Tips that can help reduce your child’s risk of ADHD include:

  • During pregnancy, avoid anything that could harm fetal development. For example, don’t drink alcohol, take recreational drugs, or smoke.
  • Protect your child from exposure to pollutants and toxins, including cigarette smoke and lead paint.
  • Limit time spent with electronic products. Although still unproven, it may be wise for children to avoid excessive exposure to TV and video games during the first five years of life.

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