Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Once known as Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a serious disorder that can negatively impact the lives of not only those with an ADHD diagnosis, but their families as well. With proper treatment, including medical, alternative, and natural ADHD treatments, this disorder doesn’t have to disrupt your life.

What is ADHD?
ADHD refers to a disorder that causes those affected to have troubles concentrating and focusing. In particular, those diagnosed with ADHD disorder have troubles with hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity. Although it was previously referred to as ADD, ADHD is so named to more exactly describe the disorder. Moreover, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is now broken down to three subtypes in order to further classify the condition. The three subtypes are: Predominantly Inattentive Subtype; Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Subtype; and Combined Subtype.

Between 3% and 7% of children and 2% to 4% of adults are thought to have ADHD. These people are also more likely to develop other conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, learning disabilities and bipolar disorder. Previously, adhd was thought to be more prevalent among boys. However, experts believe that ADHD may actually affect girls more than they realize; it is less likely to be diagnosed, though, as girls are not as prone to having symptoms of hyperactivity and therefore tend to go unnoticed with the disorder.

ADHD Symptoms
There are many symptoms of ADHD; depending on just what ADHD symptoms your child displays, she will be diagnosed with one of the three subtypes. It is important to note, though, that symptoms in children with ADHD can vary from day to day, making it seem as though the child has some form of control over her ADHD signs. In reality, the appearance of symptoms depends upon a child’s situation and environment.

Symptoms of inattentiveness include: ignoring details; inability to maintain focus when spoken to; making careless mistakes; difficulty remembering things and following instructions; and appearing disorganized and forgetful. Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness include: restlessness; being excessively talkative; inability to stay seated; constantly moving; interrupting others; unable to wait for turn; not filtering thoughts before speaking.

Diagnosing ADHD
Because symptoms of ADHD often don’t become overtly obvious until a child starts school, frequently it is a teacher who draws attention to the problem. Children with ADHD will need to undergo rigorous testing in order to rule out other possible causes for their behavior. Additionally, teachers, parents and caregivers may be asked to complete a questionnaire or be interviewed by an ADHD specialist.

When investigating ADHD in children, it is import to see an ADHD doctor. This is someone who is specially trained in dealing with ADHD. In some cities, it may be possible to go to an ADHD clinic that deals exclusively with ADHD cases. When this is not possible, going to an ADHD pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist, or a behavioral neurologist is also an option.

ADHD Treatment
There are many different forms of treatment for ADHD. As with various other disorders, the ADHD child is often helped the most by using a variety of ADHD treatments. ADHD help can encompass behavioral therapy, ADHD drugs, a special ADHD diet, enrolling your child in sports, and even establishing a routine.

The use of ADHD medication is somewhat controversial. While ADHD medications have been shown to help reduce ADHD symptoms, many parents are concerned about ADHD medication side effects. These side effects can include reduced appetite, irritability, headaches, upset stomach, depression, and sleep problems. Additionally, ADHD drugs may impair growth and could possibly increase a user’s risk of developing cancer in the future. If you are considering using ADHD medications, like Ritalin and Dexedrine, speaking with your child’s health care provider about the pros and cons in order to make the right decision for your child.

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