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7 Things You Should Know About ADHD

7 Things You Should Know About ADHD

By Pam Dewey • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, ADD, hyperactivity, attention deficit, children and ADHD, kids and ADHD • August 05, 2021

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is best-known as a childhood disorder. However, people with ADHD can have lifelong issues with paying attention, impulsively acting out or sitting still. This can result in damage to relationships, education, employment and an individual’s sense of self-worth.

Here are 7 things you should know about ADHD.

ADD vs. ADHD

You may have seen the acronyms ADD and ADHD. ADD is short for “attention deficit disorder,” a term no longer used by mental health professionals. According to Healthline, “It was previously used to describe people who have problems paying attention but aren’t hyperactive.” This is now recognized as a type of ADHD.

ADHD is incredibly common. Healthline states, “One in 10 children between ages 5 to 17 years receives an ADHD diagnosis, making it one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States.”

There are three types of ADHD

ADD is now referred to as predominately inattentive, which means an individual’s ADHD symptoms are mainly related to inattention. People who are predominantly hyperactive-impulsive typically are more hyperactive and impulsive. But the most common type of ADHD is a combination of these two types of behavior.

We don’t know what causes ADHD

There is no known cause for ADHD, but research continues. According to Mayo Clinic,Factors that may be involved in the development of ADHD include genetics, the environment or problems with the central nervous system at key moments in development.” So, children who have parents or siblings with ADHD may be more likely to have it.

There are common symptoms for children

If you’re concerned your child has ADHD, be mindful of the behaviors listed below. However, remember that behaviors vary from person to person and depend on the type of ADHD.

Some things to watch for in your child:

  • Difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Interrupts people when they talk
  • Trouble sitting still
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Doesn’t complete tasks or schoolwork
  • Talks too much
  • Must be in constant motion
  • Has trouble waiting their turn
  • Playing quietly is difficult

Of course, many children struggle to pay attention in school or have trouble sitting still. Parents shouldn’t assume their child has ADHD because they have difficulty finishing their homework. If you have concerns about your child, reach out to your pediatrician or a mental health professional. They can evaluate your child and recommend next steps.

Different types of treatment are available

Children with ADHD may benefit from therapy and/or medication. They might try talk therapy or behavior therapy, where a child learns how to manage their behavior better.

ADHD can last into adulthood

Children can outgrow ADHD. However, Heathline states, “More than 60% of children with ADHD still exhibit symptoms as adults.” Some adults may not have been diagnosed as children, or may still have symptoms that need to be managed. They might have trouble staying focused, have bad time-management skills, have difficulty making plans, act impulsively, interrupt people and forget things.

Like children with ADHD, adults may struggle with relationships or have difficulty completing tasks. But just like children, adults with ADHD need patience and understanding. They may also benefit from medication, therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy or even practicing mindfulness.

Try to understand how they’re feeling

If you have a loved one with ADHD, you’ll likely face some challenges, but you can focus on the positive and learn to communicate better. Remember, ADHD is a mental health disorder, and it affects your loved one’s behavior. For adults with ADHD, Healthline suggests, “Try asking how they feel to get more insight into their day-to-day experience. A deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with ADHD can make it easier to consider their perspective and offer compassion instead of criticism.” When you understand how hard it is to focus, you’ll likely be much more sympathetic when they forget to do the dishes. It’s also important to be honest about how their behavior affects you, but learn to explain your frustration in a way that’s respectful and non-confrontational.

This advice also works for children. Hearing how hard it is to focus on what the teacher is saying will make you more sympathetic toward your child. Learning about their experiences might also give you an idea of how to help them focus — maybe a fidget toy can keep their hands busy so they can sit still longer? Or perhaps you need to remove all the toys from the room when they’re doing distance learning.

ADHD is common. Sometimes children grow out of it, and sometimes they continue to have symptoms through adulthood. If you’re concerned your child may have ADHD, contact your doctor or a mental health professional. There are a variety of treatments that can help children, teens and adults with ADHD.