Attention Deficit Disorder in Children – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children
The Basics of Childhood ADD
Both ADD and ADHD are conditions that could affect the lives of infants, toddlers, and school aged children. It attacks the ability to concentrate.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADD is characterized by limited attention spans, quick impulses, and hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is not the only thing associated with the condition. ADHD can affect up to 10 percent of the child age population, with 20 percent estimated to be diagnosed sometime in their lifetimes. Boys have a higher prevalence than girls. But remember, not all boys with “high energy” have ADHD.
ADD usually hits at the onset of age seven and is usually diagnosed before a child’s 10th birthday. The younger a child when diagnosed, the more severe the symptoms. When older children are diagnosed, signs are usually less intense. ADD can manifest itself in social settings and work situations where cooperation and attention span is required. ADD behaviors usually don’t appear in one-on-one interactions. For instance, there are more chances a child will act up in a 30 student class than in a lesson alone with the teacher.
The Classic Signs of Childhood ADD
Some signs associated with Childhood ADD include inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. With inattentiveness, finishing tasks can be tough and listening could be unfocused and very hard to do. A child is easily distracted and schoolwork is hard to focus on.
With impulsivity, children are not aware of consequences to their actions and tasks are usually done in quick succession because of a lack of interest. Organizing work is almost always impossible and talking out of turn in class is like clockwork.
Hyperactive children have a tendency to run or climb excessively while fidgeting in a sitting position. Even when sleeping, hyperactive children have a tendency to move.
ADD symptoms can usually be seen before age seven with symptoms lasting no less than six months before a true diagnosis can be performed.
Learning disabilities could cause childhood ADD sufferers to face emotional problems and be susceptible to harassment in school and chiding by teachers for poor performance. There is not one definite cause for the condition, and many in the scientific community believe that biological problems and the environment contribute to ADD. A lot of children with ADD have parents with the same condition. (See Adult ADD)
5 Year Old Boy Letting the Chickens Out – Example of Good Behavior
The Gifted Child with ADD or ADHD
Are gifted children assigned the ADHD label despite being gifted?
It’s very possible for a gifted child to have ADD. Many in the scientific community have expressed concerns gifted children could be misinterpreted as having ADHD and that quick conclusions are being rushed into. When a mistaken diagnosis is the case, you may be putting your gifted child on ADD medication for no reason.
Treading carefully is the key to preventing over diagnosis. This way, the right evaluation and treatment could be done. Once again, ADHD and being gifted could go hand in hand. Many CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies have ADHD.
Can gifted children who spend too much time on tasks still have ADHD?
Many professionals and parents believe that children who can focus on a task for long periods cannot have ADHD. This has been proven wrong time and time again. Although onlookers could say ADHD is impossible since the child is well focused into his task, this could also be interpreted as ‘hyper focus’ which is a common behavior ADHD children exhibit.
Watching children engage in high attention tasks cannot indicate ADHD accurately, whether it is watching TV, playing games, or reading. It is all about effort. Performance during tasks that require effort (doesn’t have to be a high interest task) is a better way of telling the difference. Many teachers recommend Attend to naturally treat ADD or ADHD.
Can ADHD children concentrate for a long time?
ADHD does not depend on a child’s ability to concentrate, but by his or her inability to control his concentration. Any activity that requires effort for an ADHD child will be rebuffed.
‘Hyper focus’ could mean commitment to a task and a sign of motivation; it turns into a problem when gifted children are asked to do another task over another. In essence, deep concentration could be an advantage to thinking, yet cause behavioral problems at the same time.
Gifted children could show less signs of ADHD than a non-gifted child who shows it more profoundly. Since they are gifted, simple effortless tasks could be done with ease, so not exhibiting ADHD symptoms could be easier for gifted children than misdiagnosing them with the condition. Many children are able to hide or conceal their ADHD while others have a harder time.
Ultimately, gifted children have strengths which they rely on a lot to hide their own disability. Although reminding them of strengths could hone their talent, it does not make ADHD go away. The reality is many children could start doubting their abilities because of the struggle required to keep it active. If a child is able to recognize their hardships as ADHD, valuable coping skills could be learned.
In order to evaluate ADHD, one must figure out the degree to which impairment blocks a child’s ability to behave. If a child suffers from poor social skills, bad academics, or slowed development, it is important to consult with a mental care physician in a clinical environment to look at options, even if this behavior is seen as creative or gifted.
Medication is Not the Best Solution
Every gifted child with ADHD does not need medication. There are lots of ways children can cope with the condition without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Recent studies have revealed that ADD medication can stunt a child’s growth and has numerous other side-effects.
If you have a gifted child with ADHD, Attend might be the perfect solution. It’s an all natural homeopathic remedy that should be tried before using the more dangerous drugs usually prescribed. Attend is a natural alternative ADD treatment, without all of those risky side effects of pharmaceutical agents with its inherent risks and possible addiction. We also recommend giving your child a good chewable Omega 3 Fatty Acid such as DHA Junior by Nordic Naturals.
Tips for Helping Your Child Deal with ADHD
There are simple things that you and your child can do to help them better cope with ADHD. Time management, environment, and communication all play an integral role, and taking these aspects into account can go a long way when trying to help your child with ADHD.
When trying to manage time for a child with ADHD it can always seem like it is constantly slipping away, and because of this it is essential to allow the child to have more time for day to day tasks and chores. Distractions from outside sources makes them need more time, and it is important to not rush them. Rushing them can induce stress, and most of the time it can hinder their work processes instead of facilitating it. Once you are able to carve more time into your schedule you’ll also want to take a look at the environment in which your child does their school work in. A quiet study area with as few distractions as possible is essential. Allowing your child to verbally work through homework may also be helpful, as even writing utensils can create a distraction.
Encouraging your child to communicate to you what is distracting them can also be helpful. At times a child can become so distracted that they are unable to properly think through and solve whatever it is that’s distracting them. Say it’s an article of clothing that is distracting; whenever the child puts their hand down to write the sensation of a watch or bracelet on the desk is all that they can think about. Instances like this can be nearly impossible to you to know about, but by supporting communication between the two of you, you can easily solve the problem by removing the watch. It may be a good idea to have your child join a sports team and you could help by being a behind-the-scenes coach.
ADHD can be stressful for both you and your child, but there are easy steps that you can take to make your life much easier. Better managing your time, the environment your child spends time in, and communication between the two of you, can make it easier to manage life with a child dealing with ADHD. There is hope!