Attention deficit disorder (ADD) occurs when a child finds it difficult to learn and concentrate. This in turn affects their school environment and their personal relationships.
Attention deficit disorder in children is often difficult to diagnose due to its intricacy. It is one of the greatest causes for concern among parents.
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A more severe case of ADD is ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Children with ADHD have more trouble focusing, remaining calm, and they have spontaneous behaviors. Kids with ADHD may find it difficult to form social relationships in family, school, and other social environments. ADD an ADHD is more difficult to diagnose between 4 and 6 years. This is because it’s hard to differentiate between these signs and normal behavior of a young child.
The disorder is usually diagnosed at 7 years old. However, some signs and symptoms are manifest before a child hits this age.
In spite of this, it’s essential that you learn about it. This is because you can use its first signs to begin to track it.
Signs of Attention Deficit Disorder in Children
The signs of attention deficit disorder in children differ. Also, they tend to change as the child moves through the stages of development. However, the disorder can continue into adolescence and adulthood.
For this reason, once you detect warning signs, you should get an evaluation. Seek out a professional on the subject, such as a pediatric neurologist or psychiatrist.
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Tests can take several months before a final diagnosis is reached. Often, they include interviews with parents and teachers.
Signs of ADHD in Children
- Difficulty focusing and paying attention
- Disorganized behavior thereby losing important things
- Difficulty following instructions
- Avoiding mentally demanding activities
- Overlooking important details during tasks
- Inability to focus on a single task or game
- Difficulty understanding what is being taught
- Becoming bored with the same activity and stopping it
- Making mistakes that show a lack of attention
Signs of Hyperactivity
- Incessant talking
- Always moving and playing with objects that are within reach, even in situations that require attention
- Difficulty participating in quiet activities
- Reacting explosively
- Running around or climbing to inappropriate places
- Feeling nervous when staying in the same place
Signs of impulsiveness
- Crossing the street without checking for oncoming vehicles
- Having trouble waiting his turn or staying still in a line
- Not having patience
- Looking for quick alternatives to solve problems.
- Interrupting others
- Acting and speaking without thinking
Causes of Attention Deficit Disorder in Children
The main reason why some children have ADD and other kids don’t is still uncertain. However, experts believe genetic, neurological and environmental factors are involved in its development.
More specifically, its possible causes include:
- Family history of ADHD or mental illness.
- Pregnant woman who used cigarettes and alcohol.
- Inability to regulate levels of brain chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
- Brain damage or injuries.
- Food additives such as artificial colors, which can aggravate hyperactivity.
Diagnosis and Treatment
You must complete a process that takes months to get a correct diagnosis. A mental health professional or pediatrician specialized in ADHD bases this on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The process takes time for the professional to meet the child and examine his relationship with his environment. Also, it’s essential that they get to know his family and the people close to him.
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They willcreate a management plan. Sometimes, they may recommend medications. However, behavioral therapy is usually recommended as the first step.
The exact length of the treatment cannot be given, instead it depends on how well a child responds to treatment and improves.
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