ADD And ADHD – Causes And Symptoms. The Problems Children With ADHD Face

Recently, I attended a seminar where the problems of ADD and ADHD were discussed. I was stunned by what I learned from this seminar. They discussed the common symptoms of ADD and ADHD, the causes, and ADHD symptoms in children. Most importantly, how to deal with children facing such syndromes.

The statistics are very shocking, and the biggest issue is that this problem is going unnoticed. As per a study, the prevalence of ADHD among primary school children in India was 11.32%.

The world is not static anymore. It has become very much dynamic and is continuously changing. The lifestyle of people today is very different from what it was ten years ago.

Like food habits, behavior, dressing style, technology, etc., all possible areas of life have changed enormously.

And this change affects every person’s life. Some are very well versed and up to date with this change, but many can’t cope.

The people most affected by these changes are the children. Children, nowadays, are extremely well versed in technology. They love fast things like fast music, games, fast food, etc. And this fast-paced lifestyle has a major effect on their minds and health. Sadly this effect is going unnoticed.

Did You Know: Males are almost 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.

As a teacher, I have come across so many students who are so fidgety and restless. For many, this is not a big issue, but there is a huge bomb waiting to explode for some.

What Are ADD & ADHD?

ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

It occurs in around 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults. The four main qualities that define A.D.D. are:

  • Selective attention
  • Distractibility
  • Impulsivity
  • and in many children, hyperactivity (A.D.H.D.).

ADHD is the advanced stage of the disorder. This is very common in our classroom. Our children today can’t stay in a single place for more than five minutes. Detecting symptoms differs from case to case, and the more severe, the earlier the diagnosis.

  • 8 years old: the average age of diagnosis for children with mild ADHD
  • 7 years old: the average age of diagnosis for children with moderate ADHD
  • 5 years old: the average age of diagnosis for children with severe ADHD

add and adhd symptoms-ahdd-and-adhd-causes-treatment

What Is The Difference Between ADD & ADHD?

The students diagnosed with ADD cannot stay focused on one thing for more than 5-7 minutes. They can be calm and serene, not in the least hyperactive or disruptive. Diagnoses among children continue to rise every year.

Whereas on the other hand, the children diagnosed with ADHD are extremely hyperactive and impatient. 

Here are some ADHD symptoms in children:

  1. These children can’t seem to stay focused on a particular thing for more than 2 minutes.
  2. They cannot stand still in one place, and they usually tend to get up from a seat when remaining seated is expected.
  3. They show behavior like they squirm in their seats, taps their hands or feet, or fidgets.

What Causes ADD/ADHD?

1. Heredity:

If the parents have ADD or ADHD, there is a high chance that the child, too, may have ADD/ADHD.

2. Neurobiological Disorder: 

Chemical imbalances cause this inside the brain with neurotransmitters.

3. Environmental influence:

The lifestyle of the people in this century has a major effect on the development of a person. Sometimes substance abuse can also cause this problem.

4. Brain Development:

If a child is especially gifted (excelling in a field or otherwise), the child may have ADHD or ADD.

ADHD is more common today.

As per research, the prevalence of ADHD diagnosis in children and adolescents (ages 4 to 17) increased from 6.1% in 1997– 1998 to 10.2% in 2015–2016.

ADHD itself may not have increased, but its diagnosis has increased. This is thanks to the spread of awareness and improved medical care.

What Are The ADD/ADHD Symptoms In Children?

You can easily identify a child with ADD or ADHD. The symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children are quite visible. Here are some of the most common ADD/ADHD symptoms in children:

1. Inattentive

A child with ADHD or ADD likely to have difficulties concentrating and paying attention to detail. This is a common ADHD symptom in children.

2. Easily distracted

The child may feel easily distracted with even the little things going around. They appear like they are not listening when spoken to.

3. Trouble focusing

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have difficulties staying focused on tasks or activities. Their attention span is concise.

4. Forgetful

They forget their things here and there. As grown-ups, they also forget their daily tasks like going to appointments. Moreover, they regularly make careless mistakes in tasks.

5. Hyperactivity

There are constant activities and hyperactivity. 75% of boys with ADHD are hyperactive. And 60% of girls with ADHD are hyperactive. The children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) fidget now and then. They are unable to sit still for long.

6. Low self-esteem

Likewise, children diagnosed with ADHD have low self-esteem. This symptom follows them through their teenage years. Unfortunately, 21% of teens with ADHD skip school repeatedly.

7. Mental high sensitivity

These children also have a high level of sensitivity to physical stimuli like sound, sight, touch, smell, and emotional stimuli. They also have a hard time regulating those feelings.

8. Anger management issues

Due to high sensitivity, these children also tend to have anger outbursts. They are unable to control their feelings. As a result, these feelings cause them to cry easily or feel intensely angry.

65% of children with ADHD have issues with authority figures, including verbal aggression and angry outbursts.

9. Risk of addiction

Besides, children with ADHD tend to be more impulsive. This is likely to have behavior problems.  According to research, this can contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. The prevalence of ADHD among people treated for alcohol or substance abuse is approximately 25%.

10. Loses vital things

This is another common ADHD symptoms in children. That is to say, trouble focusing and carelessness cause these children to lose important things. This is a frequent occurrence.

Unfortunately, nothing much can be done to avoid losing or misplacing something.

11. Impulsivity

Impulsivity is a primary symptom of ADHD. It may affect the ability of a child to think about the consequences before saying or doing something.

12. Anxiety

Though ADHD and anxiety are separate conditions, they may occur together in some cases. Even though each condition has unique symptoms, sometimes the two conditions mirror each other. About 1 out of 3 children with ADHD have anxiety.

13. Behavioural Exceptionalities

Also, behavioral exceptionalities can be another symptom of ADHD. Nearly 2 of 3 children with current ADHD had at least one mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.

These are disorders where the students’ specific behavior problems prevent the student from learning. This is one of the symptoms of ADHD.

14. High intelligence

ADHD is not always filled with negative symptoms. The children diagnosed with ADHD are very creative. Some even have high IQ’s. They may not necessarily perform poorly at school.

They are intuitive. This is an important point to be noted. Consequently, it shows that we shouldn’t assume that ADHD children are automatically weak in other aspects of life, especially education.

15. Hyperfocus

On the other hand, a person with ADHD may also experience hyperfocus. They may experience deep and intense concentration when working intently on things that interest them.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on a person’s unique physiology and environment. Likewise, adults can be diagnosed with ADHD/ADD too. This doesn’t occur out of the blue. The problem starts in childhood. However, it is usually overlooked.

4.4 percent of the adult US population has ADHD, but less than 20% of these individuals seek help. But with time, it can either heal/go away or become severe. Other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or a learning disability, may worsen symptoms.

How Is ADHD/ADD Diagnosed And What Are Some Common Tests?

Unlike others, blood tests or X-rays can not diagnose ADD or ADHD. There is a detailed evaluation process used by doctors to diagnose ADD/ADHD. This evaluation process includes behavior observations, interviews, situational responses, etc.

The professional gathers information about the child during the process.

If the child fulfills the criteria, then ADD/ADHD is diagnosed. The criteria are set by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the official diagnostic guide used in the United States.

Besides this, there are also several other neuropsychological and psychological examinations. This is to rule out any other underlying conditions like learning disabilities, anxiety, addictions, or depression.

Most importantly, carry your medical history along. If you have not had a medical exam recently, it might be recommended before the ADHD test.

The professional may also ask to speak to teachers and any other adults involved in a supervisory role with your child. This is to know more about the child’s behavior.

Also, carrying school performance cards, any other previous testings like IQ testing, achievement tests, personality assessments, etc. can help in the testing process.

Once the test is complete, the professional will meet up with you and discuss the results. Based on the findings, appropriate treatment options are recommended. The treatment options may include counseling, medication, behavioral training, and/or lifestyle changes.

Can I Get An ADHD Diagnosis Online Or At Home?

It is imperative to get an accurate diagnosis from a professional. A psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, neurologist, and some physicians can diagnose ADHD. Furthermore, diagnoses can be a pathway to getting help.

However, avoid any forms of home or self-diagnosis and treatment. It is ok to look up for symptoms and take online tests.

It acts as a helpful self-screening process. Besides, it gives you the confidence to reach out to a health professional for a formal diagnosis. On the other hand, what’s not okay is coming to conclusions based on these online tests. You cannot diagnose ADHD online.

Is There Any Cure For ADHD?

As I said, with age, this usually disappears. There is no cure for ADHD, though both medical and psychological treatments can help control symptoms.

Around one-third of children seem to grow out of their disorder during adolescence, but the others find their ADHD persists into adult life.

Children with ADD/ADHD are:

  1. very creative,
  2. intelligent,
  3. and compassionate.

However, others misunderstand them. But generally, people label them as naughty, misfit, weird or notorious.

Why Are We Talking About The Problems Of ADD/ADHD?

When you have a ‘normal child, he has good grades, you’re happy. When he does what we ask him, we’re happy. “Normal” is a joy because, of course, it is your pride and duty.

But when we have a child with certain limits. Such a child for whom each day’s learning may be longer than for another child. Or that learning if minimal arrives maybe never, we as parents fail to accept the problem.

I would like to ask you to favor an important subject: this is the week of special education, Autism, dyslexia, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

For all children who struggle every day to succeed and those who are trying to help them.

These kids usually suffer a lot. Others bully them, shout at them, and assault them. As a result, this usually causes anxiety and depression problems.

Did You Know: The majority of students who report bullying are diagnosed with mild Autism Spectrum Disorder and students with ADHD.

Hence, we need to make an effort to understand these kids and tend to their needs. It would be good to teach our children to be kind and accept all their classmates.

As teachers, we come across many such kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When we talk to their parents about this, they usually feel bad.

Moreover, they cross-question us. Parents ask, “So, you say my child has mental problems.” Or “How can you say my child is mentally disabled.” This very thought is extremely harmful.

Remember, ADHD doesn’t mean your child is mentally disabled.

He/she can very well excel in any field they want to. All they need is a little support and understanding from the people around them.

You can also talk with an ADHD Information Specialist at 1-866-200-8098. 

Remember, children with special needs are not weird. They want what everyone else wants. That is, they want to be accepted! So, let’s make an effort to understand and help out any such kid we come across. Importantly, we need to educate our children about ADD/ADHD.

Key Takeaways On Hyperactive Disorder

  • The lifestyle of people today is very different from what it was ten years ago.
  • This fast lifestyle has a major effect on their minds and health, which is going unnoticed.
  • The four main qualities that define A.D.D. are Selective attention, Distractibility, Impulsivity, and in many children, hyperactivity (A.D.H.D.).
  • The children diagnosed with ADHD are extremely hyperactive and impatient.
  • ADD/ADHD can be heredity or due to chemical imbalances inside the brain with neurotransmitters.
  • The symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children are quite visible.
  • Some symptoms include trouble focusing, low self-esteem, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, anger issues, impulsivity, anxiety, or addiction.
  • Blood tests or X-rays can not diagnose ADD or ADHD, and proper evaluation is necessary.
  • Avoid any forms of home or self-diagnosis and treatment.
  • There is no cure for ADHD, though both medical and psychological treatments can help control symptoms.
  • We need to make an effort to understand these kids and tend to their needs.
  • Remember, ADHD doesn’t mean your child is mentally unfit. They just need your support and understanding.

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Felicia is a full-time teacher and a freelancer with an interest in blogging. She is also a die-hard fan of the 'Friends' series.