AD/HD is a real condition that affects around 5% of school aged children. The peak time for the majority of parents to ask for help is after the child starts school.
AD/HD is a neurobiological/genetic disorder in which the neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of the brain, do not work properly.
AD/HD is far more common in boys, with more girls going undiagnosed than boys. Ratio of 4 boys:1 girl.
AD/HD is marked by behaviours that are chronic, lasting for at least six months, with onset before the age of seven. The cluster of behaviours include inattention, impulsivity, overactivity, insatiability, disorganisation and social clumsiness.
AD/HD rarely occurs alone. Several associated conditions (such as learning difficulties, oppositional behaviour, conduct disorder, speech and language problems, Tourette’s Syndrome, depression and anxiety) may co-exist with AD/HD and must be treated for the best outcome. Treating AD/HD in isolation is unlikely to be successful.
AD/HD studies have shown that when researchers look at children from different countries and race the incidence of AD/HD is found to be equally common.
AD/HD comes in many varying degrees. Some may be mild, others moderate or severe. Educational and treatment plans must be individualised to address the unique strengths and problems of each child.
AD/HD does not magically go away in adolescence. Effective treatment requires a multi-modal approach which includes the following components:
- Early diagnosis and treatment
- Education about the disorder
- Training in the use of behaviour management
- Medication when indicated
- Support for families
AD/HD is a disorder that, without proper identification and treatment, can have serious and long lasting consequences and/or complications for an individual.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is a developmental disability estimated to affect 5-10% of all children. The disorder is characterised by three predominant features:
- Restlessness and/or Hyperactivity (in many but not all cases)
The disorder is most prevalent in children and is generally thought of as a childhood disorder. Recent studies, however, show that AD/HD can and does continue throughout the adult years. Current estimates suggest that approximately 50-65% of children with AD/HD or ADD will have symptoms of the disorder as adolescents and adults (although other research suggests 70-80% is a more realistic figure).
There is no cure or “quick fix” when treating AD/HD. Widely publicised “cures” such as special diets have, for the most part, proven ineffective. Effective treatment of AD/HD generally requires three basic components:
· Education about the disorder – Understanding AD/HD is vital. Read books; talk to professionals; attend seminars; join a support group; learn as much as you can.
· Training in the use of behaviour management – Structure is the most important factor in treating AD/HD. It may be necessary to reorganise your routine and lifestyle to accommodate this.
· Medication when indicated – Can dramatically improve attention span and is effective in about 80% of cases, when the dosage is adjusted correctly.
Com a colaboração de: NI-ADD Support CentreWeb: http://www.ni-add.org.uk/index01.html