What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder consisting of symptoms that include difficulties with attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. ADHD can vary in its severity and impact. It can involve both hyperactivity, inattention, or a combination. ADHD can cause problems for the person who experiences the disorder as well as those around the person such as caregivers, family, and teachers. ADHD is believed to affect on average 2.2% of children and adolescents worldwide although this figure varies considerably according to different studies. ADHD can affect people from any social class, ethnicity or background; however, ADHD has been found to be more prevalent in individuals with a learning difficulty. ADHD is usually diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 12 but this can vary. The cause of ADHD is currently unknown, but some studies have suggested that it can run in families.
What are the main symptoms of ADHD?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms to look out for regarding whether someone might meet criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD include:
- Being easily distracted
- Struggling to pay attention for long periods of time (or any period of time)
- Making mistakes on work
- Forgetting things
- Losing things
- Difficulty listening to instructions
- Difficulty organising themselves
- Impulsive behaviour
- Difficulties sitting still
- Fidgeting and excessive movement
- Difficulties concentrating
- Difficulties waiting their turn
- Difficulties controlling their verbal chat, including interrupting others
- Little sense of danger or risk
When does ADHD become a problem and what treatments are available?
Young people with ADHD can display challenging behaviour which can be difficult for caregivers, family and teachers to manage. The symptoms described can result in children having difficulties in school as well as at home. This can result in underachievement, difficulties with friendships, and stressful home environments. However, it is important to remember that young people with ADHD struggle to control their behaviour and often need support.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, it can be managed extremely effectively with a range of treatments.
- Familial and educational advice and support
- Behaviour therapy or Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Social skills training
If you need any further support with ADHD, or would like to try one of the range of treatments above, please contact one of our clinicians for more information.
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