What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children, commonly referred to as ADHD, is characterized by poor concentration, hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsiveness that are inappropriate for the child's age.
ADHD child symptoms include becoming easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment, inability to concentrate for long periods of time, restlessness and impulsiveness, a tendency to daydream, and slowness in completing tasks.
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children is becoming increasingly common. For these children, their world can be like living inside a continuous fireworks display, where sounds, images, and thoughts are constantly exploding and distracting them, making it impossible for them to stay focused.
These children often find it impossible to fit in. As a result, they live in their own chaotic world. In order for these children to achieve their full potential, they should receive help, guidance, and understanding from parents, guidance counselors, and the public education system.
ADHD child symptoms often continues into adolescence and adulthood, and can cause a lifetime of frustrated dreams and emotional pain. Read more about adults with ADHD.
The Difference Between ADD and ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the umbrella disorder, encompassing three sub-groups. These three groups are defined as follows:
- ADD Inattentive Type
A main characteristic of inattentive behavior is the inability to concentrate and focus. This lack of attention may only be noticed when a child enters the challenging environment of school. This is not classified as ADHD, as hyperactivity is not present.
- ADD Hyperactive/Impulsive Type
A child with hyperactive and impulsive behavior is commonly ‘all over the place’ and very active (both mentally and physically), making hasty decisions at any moment. This is classified as ADHD, as hyperactivity is present.
- ADD Combined Type
ADD child symptoms of inattentive type are combined with the symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive type. This is the most common form of ADD. A child with more than six ADD combined type symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. This is classified as ADHD, as hyperactivity is present.
How does ADHD Manifest in Children?
To their family, classmates, or teachers, children with ADHD seem difficult and hard to manage. However, children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are not bad, lazy, or stupid.
These children have a disorder that can make it difficult for them to follow instructions or participate in activities. Parents are naturally concerned when their child's disruptive behavior, as it can cause numerous meetings with the school faculty.
Even though the child with ADHD often wants to be a good student, the erratic behavior can be very troublesome - so much so that it interferes with their ability to live normal lives.
Although attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children is a relatively new phrase, the disorder was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. "The Story of Fidgety Philip" was an accurate description of a little boy who had ADHD. Since then, several thousand scientific papers on the disorder have been published.
ADHD is not itself considered a learning disability, but the ADHD child symptoms can lead to problems with learning, thus creating obstacles in a child's academic development. It is important to have a child thoroughly evaluated to determine if learning disabilities are present.
Learning disabilities are common in children with ADHD, but not all children with learning disorders have ADHD. ADHD does not affect intelligence, as children with the disorder span the same IQ range as the general population.