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ADHD in Children

By Meltem Safarli

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children. Boys are more likely to have it than girls. It’s usually spotted during elementary school time when a child begins to have problems paying attention. 

What is ADHD?
ADHD, Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, 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 behaviors, and also be overly inactive. A person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. ADHD can affect a child at school, at home, and in friendships.

What causes ADHD?

  • Brain injury.

  • Exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age.

  • Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.

  • Premature delivery.

  • Low birth weight

Symptoms of ADHD in kids

  • trouble focusing on activities and becoming easily distracted

  • Low attention span while playing or doing schoolwork

  • Excessive talking and daydreaming

  • constantly needing movement or frequently running around

  • engaging in activities loudly or disruptively

  • Disorganization

Subtypes of ADHD

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Predominantly inattentive. The majority of symptoms fall under inattention.

  • Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive. The majority of symptoms are hyperactive and impulsive.

  • Combined. This is a mix of inattentive symptoms and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms.

Hyperactivity and impulsivity

A child who shows a pattern of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms may often:

  • Fidget with or tap their hands or feet, or squirm in the seat

  • Have difficulty staying seated in the classroom or while facing other situations

  • Be on the go, in constant motion

Inattention

A child who shows a pattern of inattention may often:

  • Avoid or dislike tasks that require focused mental effort, such as homework

  • Lose items needed for tasks or activities, for example, toys, school assignments, pencils

  • Be easily distracted

Hyperactivity and impulsivity

A child who shows a pattern of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms may often:

  • Have trouble playing or doing an activity quietly

  • Talk too much

  • Blurt out answers, interrupting the questioner

Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in kids

In general, a child shouldn't receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder unless the core symptoms of ADHD start early in life — before age 12 — and create significant problems at home and school on an ongoing basis. 

 

Although signs of ADHD can sometimes appear in preschoolers or even younger children, diagnosing the disorder in very young children is difficult. That's mainly because developmental problems such as language delays can be mistaken for ADHD. 

 

So children preschool age or younger suspected of having ADHD are more likely to need evaluation by a specialist, such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist, speech pathologist, or developmental pediatrician.

Other conditions that resemble ADHD

Several medical conditions or their treatments may cause signs and symptoms similar to those of ADHD. Examples include:

  • Learning or language problems

  • Mood disorders such as depression or anxiety

  • Seizure disorders

  • Vision or hearing problems

  • Autism spectrum disorder

Treatment

Standard treatments for ADHD in children include medications, behavior therapy, counseling, and education services. These treatments can relieve many of the symptoms of ADHD, but they don't cure it. It may take some time to determine what works best for your child.

 

Currently, stimulant drugs (psychostimulants) are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD. Stimulants appear to boost and balance levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

 

Exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain's dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. In this way, exercise and medications for ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall work similarly.

Krsh’s role in helping

Krsh is a welfare foundation with the sole purpose to provide holistic wellness. By supporting mental wellness, we can help you learn more about mental health. At Krsh we help you with wellness counseling in regards to feeling more calm and peaceful in mind. Krsh transforms your life by infusing spirituality with mental illness. Krsh brings in wellness counseling that supports you in many aspects. They range from mind-body practices, self-care and cognitive growth, meditation, and mindfulness.