Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition where children display persistent signs of inattention, hyperactivity, distraction and difficulty following conversations.
While it is normal for children to show signs of these periodically, it is the persistence of this behavior and its negative effect on daily functioning that is a cause of concern.
It is important for parents to recognize the symptoms and seek professional help. The first step would be to discuss your concerns with a medical doctor who may then refer you to a qualified/certified mental health professional for the right diagnosis.
We at Daddy’s Digest have analyzed the research and put together an outline of the facts.
1. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ADHD may be diagnosed in children between the ages of 4 to 18. Although, the symptoms may begin as late as age 12.
2. It is difficult to diagnose the symptoms in children under the age of 5. Often the behavior associated with ADHD may be normal or caused by other reasons like a big life change, medical disorders or depression/anxiety.
3. There are three different classifications of ADHD symptoms and behaviors.
- A child may be hyperactive and/or impulsive but has the ability to pay attention.
- A child may be inattentive (trouble focusing and paying attention) but not hyperactive. This was previously referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
- A child may show signs of both hyperactive and inattentive behavior at the same time.
4. The terms ADD and ADHD were used interchangeably in the past, but now ADHD** is the accepted term used by medical professionals, regardless of signs (or no signs) of hyperactivity.
5. Although ADHD is still being studied, we now know that it may be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Parenting styles we often pointed to as a cause of ADHD, a belief that has now been debunked.
6. There is no cure for ADHD, however it can be managed by using different strategies based on your child's individual needs.
7. Treatments include behavioral therapy, special education, psychological treatments and/or medication.
8. Based on your child's age and symptoms, a qualified professional will conduct a series of interviews and tests to analyze the severity of the condition and determine the appropriate course of treatment.
9. While children with ADHD may have trouble with day-to-day activities, some are often highly creative and can sustain their attention towards certain tasks. Create a support system to cultivate these positive behaviors in your child.
10. Remember to check-in and talk to your child about mental health, emotional well-being and cultivating positive habits.
Our guide outlines the facts based on research from several online and offline resources. If you are in doubt or worried about your child for any reason, consult with a qualified and certified mental health professional or medical doctor.
** As per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)