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Understanding ADD And ADHD

May 9, 2008
In the past, children that ignored their elders and could not seem to sit still were considered to be rambunctious or out of control and were oftentimes punished for their behavior. Thanks to research and advances made in modern medicine, doctors have discovered that children that display this kind of behavior may be suffering form ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Both of these conditions are a neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to control their spontaneous responses. These responses include movement, speech, and attentiveness. It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of children in the United States suffers from ADD/ ADHD. In other words, in a normal elementary school class chances are there is at least one child that has ADD/ADHD. The disorder occurs more frequently in boys and many parents who suffer from the disorder have children who also have it.

These disorders can be divided into three categories. In the first subdivision, the child is described as being predominately inattentive, which means that the child has difficulty focusing on one thing or may just sit there quietly with his mind being miles away. The second subdivision describes children as predominately hyperactive-impulsive. Children that fit into this category are hyperactivity and also display problems moving forward from one task to the next. The third subdivision of ADD/ADHD is combined inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive. Children in this category display behaviors that are described in both of the other subdivisions. You should keep in mind that all small children display these symptoms from time to time. The children that display these symptoms on a daily basis should be checked by your family doctor to determine if ADD/ADHD is present.

There are several symptoms that you as a parent can look for to determine if your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD. You should observe your child as he performs tasks or engages in conversations. If he becomes easily distracted or has difficulty keeping his mind focused on the issue at hand, he may be suffering form ADD/ADHD. If your child gets bored with a task before it is complete or makes mistakes and skips over details you may want to get him checked. If he is disorganized and forgets things easily, these are also symptoms of the disorder. In conversations, an ADD/ADHD child will have difficulty listening when an adult is speaking directly to them and oftentimes he will be unable to maintain direct eye contact for any amount of time.

Most children become diagnosed with ADD/ADHD once they have entered school as the symptoms become much more apparent. In the classroom setting, this child may have difficulties listening to instructions and may be unable to focus his attention on a task for a long enough period of time that it requires to complete that chore. He may have trouble sitting without squirming and fidgeting and may talk excessively. The child may also try to answer questions before the teacher is done asking them and can be generally disruptive in the learning environment. Keeping in close contact with your child's teacher can help you quickly evaluate if your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD. If you feel that your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD, you should consult your family doctor. Between you and your doctor you should be able to come up with the best treatment program for your child.

There are some positive traits that ADD/ADHD children display. They tend to be more creative and mentally flexible. These children are also energetic and there is never a dull moment when you spend time with them. Many of these children are also highly intelligent and artistically gifted.

If your child is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD it is not the end of the world. Most of the negative symptoms are treatable through medication or behavior management. As a parent, you can strive to encourage your child in the areas that interest him. By helping your child channel all his extra energy in this manner, you may find that you have a future Van Gogh or Einstein on your hands. It's something to think about.
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our affordable kids furniture. For more information, visit this article on wooden toy boxes .
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