If you are a mother, there is no doubt you love your child and care for her the most. However, there is a disorder that might affect your child, and your lack of knowledge as a mother might only worsen the condition.
It is ADD (attention deficit disorder) we are talking about, which is a mental health condition that tends to affect a few children. Keep reading to know more about add in children and understand if your child too could be at a risk of suffering from this condition.
What Is ADHD In Children?
ADD, sometimes also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a common childhood brain disorder that can continue through adolescence and into adulthood as well. (1) This condition is thought to affect nearly 10% of school going children, and boys are at a much higher risk (upto 3 times) of being affected by the disease.
In general, children affected by ADD tend to make impulsive decisions, exhibit hyperactive behavior and have trouble focusing on cert
What Causes ADD In Children?
The exact cause of ADD has not yet been discovered, however, there are multiple factors that could raise the risk of ADHD in children. It has been found that ADD may run in the family, and genes could play a role in the development of this disease. Certain environmental factors too, could influence the risk of this disease, some of which include:
- Maternal drug use
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Premature birth
- Maternal exposure to poisons such as PCBs during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead. (3)
[ Read: How To Motivate Children ]
Signs And Symptoms Of ADD In Children:
Children affected by ADD may exhibit different signs and symptoms- some children may be exhibit inattentive behavior more prominently than hyperactivity. However, in general, a child affected by the disease may display the following:
- Forgetfulness in daily activities
- Easy distraction
- Tendency to lose things easier
- Organization problems
- Difficulty in following instructions
- Difficulty in staying focused on certain tasks
- Problems in listening to instructions
- Avoidance of tasks that require mental strain
- Careless errors in simple tasks
- Excessive talking
- Difficulty in being quite
- Frequent interrupting or intruding
- Difficulty in waiting for a turn
- Blurting out answers before listening to the complete question
- Difficulty in being seated
- Excessive running around and playing (4)
Most children tend to exhibit a mixture of these symptoms- however, it is important to note adhd symptoms in kids aren’t ‘bad’ or ‘acting out on purpose.’ Infact, they need to be treated just like any other individual who is ill.
How Attention Deficit Disorder In Children Diagnosed?
Different children mature at different ages, which is why, it can be difficult to point out if a child is affected by ADD. Many children may have impulsiveness and hyperactivity as their individual personality, and may not really be affected by the disease.
However, most symptoms of ADD present themselves at a very early stage, and if parents start to notice their child being ‘unfocused’ and ‘out of control,’ it usually points out to a possibility of ADD.
For now, there is no single test to diagnose ADD, however, licensed healthcare professionals can work by gathering information about the child in question, and seeking parental opinion about their child. The healthcare provider will possibly rule out other mental health problems or certain situations or events that could be triggering that kind of behavior in the child before moving on to diagnose ADD. (5)
The doctor will then possibly conduct a non invasive brain scan and determine if your child is affected by ADD using standard guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (6)
[ Read: Tips To Improve Concentration In Kids ]
Common Treatment Options For ADD:
Standard treatments for ADD include the use of certain medications, training and counseling. While these treatment measures can reduce the severity of symptoms of ADHD in children, they cannot actually cure it.
Stimulant drugs, which work by boosting and balancing the levels of brain chemicals are usually prescribed for children affected by ADD. These medications help reduce inattentiveness and hyperactivity in such children. The right dose of these medications vary from child to child, and children may need changes in the dosage as they mature as well.
Behavioral therapy and counseling are effective treatment options for children affected by ADD, particularly for children who also experience other symptoms such as anxiety and depression. These therapies may help children learn strategies of dealing with difficult situations, and could also help them explore negative behavioral patterns and different ways of dealing with their symptoms.
3. Family Therapy:
Family therapy can be an extremely effective treatment option for children with ADD. It can also help parents and siblings adjust better to the needs of the child, and can strengthen the family bond.
4. Social Training:
This therapy could help ADD affected children learn different appropriate social behaviors which could in turn, help improve their social relationships and boost their confidence levels. (7)
Although rare, ADD may in turn, lead to certain complications in the child’s health status.
Children and teens who take stimulant medications over a period of time may experience heart problems and sudden death due to heart related problems. This can be even more prominently found in children who have a pre-existing heart defect or heart condition.
Also, certain medications may also increase the risk of suicidal behavior in teens affected by ADD, accompanied by depression. (8)
Coping With An ADD Affected Child:
children with ADHD or ADD tend to experience a lot of pressure, particularly in school and in social settings. If left ignored, it could have a negative impact on their mental health as well. It is best to seek professional help and discuss the best strategies for your child’s wellbeing.
Following effective parenting tips and being supportive, loving and caring can also help the child deal with his condition better. Parenting a child with ADD can be stressful and frustrating, but setting common goals and providing encouragement can help your child co-operate with you better. (9)
We hope this article helped you understand more about ADD in children. Did it enhance your knowledge about the disease? Do let us know in the comments box below.
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