Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a behavioural disorder that children are commonly affected by. The symptoms are characterised by restlessness, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. The majority of cases develop from early childhood and gradually get worse as the individual grows older, as a result of changes such as moving home, starting school or meeting new people. ADHD affects children massively in the way they behave, act and learn. It is related to learning difficulties and development being delayed.
ADHD is a very difficult disorder to isolate one cause and most experts believe that ADHD is a mixture of many factors, including:
- Genetic factor – Evidence suggesting that ADHD can run in genes show that a child is 5 times more likely to grow up with ADHD if a parent or sibling has the disorder.
- Environmental factors – Alcohol, drugs and smoking throughout pregnancy has been known to increase the chances of a child growing up and developing ADHD.
- Neurological factors – Research into this area is still ongoing. However, brain examinations have determined that neurotransmitters in the brain do not work as efficiently in ADHD affected people as they do in a person who doesn’t ADHD.
- Other factors– These include gender (boys are more likely to have ADHD), low birth weight, brain damage and exposure to TV on a regular basis.
Symptoms of ADHD are usually categorised into two groups – those associated with hyperactivity and those associated with inattentiveness. More often than not, the majority of children show symptoms with one of 3 types of ADHD:
- ADHD: mainly inattentive
- ADHD: mainly hyperactive and impulsive
- Combined ADHD
When children suffer with ADHD they start to have problems such as the following:
- Inability to sit still for long periods of time
- Problems with waiting
- Easily distracted
- Constant talking
- Difficulty remembering things
- Loss of interest
- Acting without thinking of any consequences
ADHD can have a link with other behavioural disorders such as:
- Learning difficulties
- Conduct disorder
Currently there is not a cure for ADHD. However, there are medications and therapy which can ease symptoms and make life a lot easier for people with the condition. ADHD is most effective when treated with both medication and therapy.
Medication –there are 3 types of medication. Methylphenidate, dexamphetamine and atomoxetine. The age of the patient is what determines what medication you are provided with. Medication helps children concentrate more, develop skills and learn more easily.
Therapy – Counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural learning and behavioural therapy are various types of therapy that patients can often find beneficial in helping with their ADHD.