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ADD/ADHD

Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder 

ADHD is a medical condition. 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 Are the Signs of ADHD?

All kids struggle at times to pay attention, listen and follow directions, sit still, or wait their turn.

 

But for kids with ADHD, the struggles are harder and happen more often. Kids with ADHD may have signs from one, two, or all three of these categories: 

- Hyperactivity

- Inattentiveness

- Impulsive Behavior

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Signs

• Hyperactivity: 
Kids with hyperactivity are fidgety, restless, and easily bored. They may have trouble sitting still, or staying quiet when needed. They may rush through things and make careless mistakes. They may climb, jump, or roughhouse when they shouldn't. Without meaning to, they may act in ways that disrupt others.

• Impulsivity:
Kids with impulsivity act too quickly before thinking. They often interrupt others, may throw tantrums, might push or grab, and find it hard to wait. They may do things without asking for permission, take things that aren't theirs, or act in ways that are risky. They may have emotional reactions that seem too intense for the situation. Behaviors are executed without the traditional thought process which results with a negative impact  on the outcomes which include undesired actions.

• Inattentiveness:
Kids who are inattentive (easily distracted) have trouble focusing their attention, concentrating, and staying on task. They may not listen well to directions, may miss important details, and may not finish what they start. They may daydream or dawdle too much. They may seem absent-minded or forgetful, and lose track of their things.

Sometimes parents and teachers notice signs of ADHD when a child is very young. It's normal for little kids to be distractible, restless, impatient, or impulsive — these things don't always mean that a child will be diagnosed with ADHD.

Attention, activity, and self-control develop little by little, as children grow. Kids learn these skills with help from parents and teachers.

Some kids don't get much better at paying attention, settling down, listening, or waiting. When these things continue and begin to cause struggles at school, home, and with friends, it is always recommended to seek professional help. 

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Positive effects of ADHD in children


ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or talent. What’s more, kids with attention deficit disorder often demonstrate the following positive traits: 

Creativity – Children who have ADHD can be marvelously creative and imaginative. The child who daydreams and has ten different thoughts at once can become a master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an inventive artist. Children with ADHD may be easily distracted even though sometimes they notice what others don't see.

Flexibility – Because children with ADHD consider a lot of options at once, they don’t become set on one alternative early on and are more open to different ideas.

Enthusiasm and spontaneity – Children with ADHD are rarely boring! They’re interested in a lot of different things and have lively personalities. In short, if they’re not exasperating you (and sometimes even when they are), they’re a lot of fun to be with.

Energy and drive – When kids with ADHD are motivated, they work or play hard and strive to succeed. It actually may be difficult to distract them from a task that interests them, especially if the activity is interactive or hands-on.

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How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

If you think your child has ADHD, make an appointment with your child's doctor. He or she will give your child a check-up, including vision and hearing, to be sure something else isn't causing the symptoms. The doctor can refer you to a child psychologist or psychiatrist if needed.
To diagnose ADHD, doctors start by asking about a child's health, behavior, and activity. They talk with parents and kids about the things they have noticed. Your doctor might ask you to complete checklists about your child's behavior, and might ask you to give your child's teacher a checklist too.
After gathering this information, doctors diagnose ADHD if it's clear that:
• A child's distractibility, hyperactivity, or impulsivity go beyond what's usual for their age.
• The behaviors have been going on since the child was young.
• Distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity affect the child at school and at home.
• A health check shows that another health or learning issue isn't causing the problems.
Many kids with ADHD also have learning problems, oppositional and defiant behaviors, or mood and anxiety problems. Doctors usually treat these along with the ADHD.

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Parenting Tips

There are many things parents can do to reduce the signs and symptoms of ADHD without sacrificing the natural energy, playfulness, and sense of wonder unique in every child.

- Take care of yourself so you’re better able to care for your child. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, find ways to reduce stress, and seek face-to-face support from family and friends.

- Establish structure and stick to it. Help your child stay focused and organized by following daily routines, simplifying your child’s schedule, and keeping your child busy with healthy activities.

- Set clear expectations. Make the rules of behavior simple and explain what will happen when they are obeyed or broken—and follow through each time with a reward or a consequence.

- Encourage exercise and sleep. Physical activity improves concentration and promotes brain growth. It leads to better sleep, which in turn can reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

- Help your child eat right. Schedule regular healthy meals or snacks every three hours and cut back on junk and sugary food.

- Teach your child how to make friends. Help him or her become a better listener, learn to read people’s faces and body language, and interact more smoothly with others.

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