ADHD is the most common mental illness in children.
In 2013, 10.8 million children were diagnosed with ADHD.
40% of kids with a diagnosable form of ADHD are not being diagnosed and are without treatment.
ADHD is more common in boys than in girls.
The median age of onset for ADHD is 11 years old.
boys are 3x more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
Inattentive- Child shows a significant lack of attention but without high amounts of hyperactivity present.
Hyperactivity- Child shows a significant amount of hyperactivity as well as impulsivity but without an adequate presence of inattention.
Combined- Child exhibits significant inattention and hyperactivity along with impulsivity. This form of ADHD is the most common form of ADHD seen in children and adolescents.
Studies have shown that if someone in the close family of the child has/had ADHD, the child has a 30% chance of having ADHD.
If someone in the family does not have ADHD, you have a 5% chance of having ADHD
Signs and symptoms:
Mistakes in schoolwork
Difficulty in focusing on tasks or activities
Appears to not listen to conversations/directions
Completes schoolwork in a long amount of time, if completed at all
Shows or expresses a dislike for activities requiring time or organization
Does not spend long on one specific task or activity
Loses many essential items to daily life
Forgets many necessary tasks for daily life
Messes with hands, feet, or materials around the child when doing schoolwork or activities
Stands up from seat at abnormal times during class
Talks very fast as well as a lot
Struggles to do tasks or activities quietly/without distracting others
Does not raise the hand or shouts out answers inappropriately
Shows impatience constantly in daily activities
Often intrudes in others personal space or conversations and shows lack of control
Difficulty following a structured daily life
Argues constantly with family members or friends
Has trouble doing time-requiring tasks (ex. Homework)
Messy living area
Can not remain seated while in class
Takes a long period of time to complete work or tasks
Says or does impulsive things around peers, causing difficulty in interaction with others.
Trouble in controlling feelings or behavior.
Studies have shown that medicine is an ideal treatment for ADHD.
the focus of medicine is to improve focus and behavioral impulsivity.
Teaches the child how to control actions and behaviors.
Improve the frequency of better behavior.
Reinforce schedules or plans in daily life.
Uses the environment to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the child.
This may occur with the child or the child and parents, many times families will alternate with these different sessions.
Working with the school is a good way to make sure your child has an academic plan that accommodates them in their academic life. (See the upcoming blog "Parental Rights" to learn how you can help your child.)
Kids with ADHD can be put on an IEP (individualized education plan) or a 504. An IEP focuses on academic help in different subjects, whereas a 504 focuses on giving the child extra time in tasks, and creates an environment to help the student focus.
How Can a Parent Help Their Kid with ADHD?
Do not ever let yourself or your kid think that they are less capable of doing something in any way due to their ADHD, and remember people with ADHD can sometimes be the smartest, they think differently!
The way you and your child think is different, sometimes look at a situation from your child's point of view before reacting.
Rmember, your child can not control how they act, it is not their fault.
Always be supportive, and know that if you have a concern regarding a possible ADHD diagnosis, take action, it may be the difference for your child.
Sources: NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)