Basics of Childhood ADD/ADHD
Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) affect a child's ability to concentrate, learn,
and maintain a normal level of activity. According to the
American Psychiatric Association, childhood ADD is shown in
children who display an inappropriate attention span, are
too impulsive, and sometimes are deemed hyperactive given
their age. Childhood ADD/ADHD
can be diagnosed either with or without hyperactivity. Childhood
Attention Deficit Disorder affects from three (3) to ten (10)
percent of all children in America. Some studies estimate
that about 20 percent of the population will eventually be
diagnosed with ADD. Childhood Attention Deficit Disorder is
about 10 times more common in boys.
Attention Deficit Disorder often develops before the age of
seven but is most often diagnosed when the child is between
ages eight and 10. The younger the child is when diagnosed,
the more serious forms of Attention Deficit Disorder he or
she is likely to exhibit. In reverse, when older children
or ADHD teenagers are
diagnosed, they generally exhibit a less serious form of the
disorder. ADD shows up most readily in situations where the
child is required to work independently or in a group setting.
One-on-one situations or situations that are new to the child
tend not to display ADD behaviors as much.
Attention Deficit Disorder is often called by various names,
including hyperactivity, minimal brain dysfunction, minimal
brain damage, and hyperkinetic syndrome.
Symptoms of childhood ADD include:
- Inattention - does not
finish things once started, appears not to listen, is
easily distracted. Having ADHD
in school can cause an inability to focus on schoolwork
or anything else requiring a longer attention span. Many
times a child with ADHD does not stay with a play activity
- Impulsivity - acts without
thinking about consequences, moves excessively from one
task to another, does not organize work though this is
not because of any cognitive impairment, must have supervision,
talks out in class, does not wait his or her turn in group
- Hyperactivity - ADD
may be diagnosed with or without hyperactivity, but a
hyperactive child will do at least two of these: run or
climb excessively, cannot sit still and fidgets, cannot
stay seated, moves around more than usual even when asleep.
- Attention Deficit Disorder
symptoms are usually seen before age seven.
- The symptoms last at
least six months.
- The symptoms are not
caused by schizophrenia, affective disorder, or any type
of profound mental retardation.