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I’m worried my child has ADHD

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Many think of ADHD as a new condition that has suddenly developed in recent years as a label to brand hyperactive or ‘badly behaved’ children with. But ADHD is something that has been found in children for years and that stays with them into adulthood. Back then, those children were probably just considered ‘disruptive’, ‘a dunce’ or ‘naughty’ and probably spent most of their school days in the head teachers’ office or at the wrong end of a cane. But ADHD isn’t label for a disruptive child, it is a heterogeneous behavioural syndrome that affects up to 9% of children and young people and can continue to affect them as an adult.

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD manifests itself with symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity which when displayed in children, can often lead to difficulties concentrating in school and controlling their behaviour. It is often stigmatised and seen as a result of bad parenting, lack of discipline and boundaries or an unhealthy diet of sugars and e-numbers. But recent research shows that people with ADHD have a significantly higher rate of missing or duplicated DNA segments compared to other people and there is a clear genetic link between these segments and other brain disorders. Children with ADHD are also more likely to have a parent with the same condition and although there has been no direct evidence to state the condition is genetic, statistics are certainly pointing that way.I'm worried my child has ADHD

ADHD in school

If a child with ADHD is left unsupported in school, they may often become disruptive to the rest of the class and may see a significant drop in grades. Teachers or other pupils can view the child simply as badly behaved and overlook the cause of the symptoms, leading to educational and social exclusion; hence why it is important for parents and schools to work closely to find the best methods of dealing with ADHD.

ADHD in adults

ADHD doesn’t just disappear when a person grows older, but in many cases, the brain appears to manage the symptoms better and develop ways in which to control the hyperactive or inattentive urges.  However, two thirds of children with ADHD will have symptoms as a teenager and a further two thirds will also face problems as an adult and go on to receive help and support in dealing with their condition. ADHD in adults can cause problems in concentrating, following directions, remembering information, organising work or completing tasks within a specific timeframe. If these aren’t dealt with appropriately, it can lead to problems with relationships and difficulties in their career.

Adults with ADHD may often find themselves getting into debt due to a lack of money management, may find themselves gambling more as a result of impulsiveness and need for stimulation. They may find it difficult to hold down a steady job and are at more risk of depression than adults without the condition.

Treatment of ADHD

Both children and adults can have the symptoms of ADHD treated by either medication, behavioural therapy or both. As a child, they may have a support teacher who can work with the child to find ways of keeping their concentration or breaking work up into smaller manageable chunks to hold their attention for longer. A child who is aware of what is causing their symptoms is better equipped to deal with their ADHD and understand what causes their symptoms and how they can manage them. For adults, it is often easier to talk to others, friends or professionals about their condition and how it affects them. They may look into what makes their symptoms better or worse and if employed, speak to their employers about their ADHD, ensure they are aware and ask whether allowances can be made in certain situations.

Does your child have ADHD?I'm worried my child has ADHD

If you, your child, or someone you know has ADHD then there is lots of support out there to help you deal with the condition. One of which is The ADHD Foundation which works in partnership with families, individuals, teachers, healthcare professionals and other agencies to help those affected by ADHD and build a positive foundation for life. Their aim is to raise awareness and change the negative perception of ADHD into a positive, enabling people to achieve both educationally and vocationally, regardless of set backs. Their website www.adhdfoundation.org.uk is aimed at children, parents and professionals and is committed to changing hearts and minds when it comes to attitudes toward ADHD.

Research into ADHD means we are continuing to learn more about the condition, its not going to simply disappear or continue to be labelled as something else. If we support those affected and continue to develop better methods of dealing with symptoms, then there should be no reason ADHD should stop any one achieving to the best of their abilities.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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