Lack of focus, inability to sit still, fidgeting, blurting out, inability to follow instructions and restlessness – this could be a description of any child at times, but children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Activity Disorder), demonstrate these symptoms for longer periods of time. Boys are more likely to have ADHD than girls and most children are diagnosed before age 7. Three to ten percent of children will have some degree of ADHD and 60% of these children will continue to have issues as an adult.
ADHD was formerly known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and either of these terms may be used to describe this condition. It is thought that children with ADHD have abnormal brain chemistry and the degree of severity varies with each child.
Fortunately, today there are good options for treatment to help children with ADHD. Drug therapies can be used, however, drug side effects may also occur, causing sleep disturbances, appetite suppression, lack of energy and depression. It is also felt that drugs may suppress creativity in children with ADHD.
Psychotherapy is an important part of learning to live with ADHD both for children and their parents. Children can gain a self-understanding and learn techniques to help them to focus. Parents can help by guiding the children when they become frustrated using the behavior therapies. Living with ADHD is a challenge at times, but many people have overcome these challenges by gaining self-awareness and developing the ability to cope with this condition.