Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common condition among children in preschool and early school years that involves trouble paying attention and controlling behavior. ADHD affects approximately two million children in the US.
ADHD is classified by symptoms of inattention and of hyperactivity / impulsiveness. A child with six or more symptoms from each category lasting for at least six months at home and at school may be diagnosed with ADHD. These symptoms include:
- Easily distracted
- Makes careless mistakes
- Seems to not listen when spoken to
- Doesn’t follow instructions properly
- Forgetful and frequently misplaces things
- Doesn’t finish tasks
Hyperactivity / Impulsiveness
- Constantly fidgeting and squirming
- Feeling restless
- Runs or climbs in inappropriate situations
- Constantly talking
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Interrupts others
ADHD occurs as a result of altered brain function and anatomy. Scientists believe that neurotransmitters in the brains of people with ADHD are not used properly. Heredity and environmental factors may also play a role.
Treatment for ADHD usually includes therapy, medication or a combination of both. The best treatment method is still under debate. However, most people benefit from a combination of therapy and medication. Symptoms of ADHD may subside as children get older, but many people also suffer during adulthood. It is important for children to see their doctor on a regular basis and continue effective treatment methods if they suffer from ADHD.