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What is ADHD?
ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. These symptoms usually occur together; however, one may occur without the other(s).
The symptoms of hyperactivity, when present, are almost always apparent by the age of 7 and may be present in very young preschoolers. Inattention or attention-deficit may not be evident until a child faces the expectations of elementary school.
What are the different types of ADHD?
Three major types of ADHD include the following:
ADHD, combined type. This, the most common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors as well as inattention and distractibility.
ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type. This, the least common type of ADHD, is characterized by impulsive and hyperactive behaviors without inattention and distractibility.
ADHD, inattentive and distractible type. This type of ADHD is characterized predominately by inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity.
What causes attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?
ADHD is one of the most researched areas in child and adolescent mental health. However, the precise cause of the disorder is still unknown. Available evidence suggests that ADHD is genetic. It is a brain-based biological disorder. Low levels of dopamine (a brain chemical), which is a neurotransmitter (a type of brain chemical), are found in children with ADHD. Brain imaging studies using PET scanners (positron emission tomography; a form of brain imaging that makes it possible to observe the human brain at work) show that brain metabolism in children with ADHD is lower in the areas of the brain that control attention, social judgment, and movement.
Who is affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?
Estimates suggest that about 4% to 12% of children have ADHD. Boys are 2 to 3 times more likely to have ADHD of the hyperactive or combined type than girls.
Many parents of children with ADHD experienced symptoms of ADHD when they were younger. ADHD is commonly found in brothers and sisters within the same family. Most families seek help when their child's symptoms begin to interfere with learning and adjustment to the expectations of school and age-appropriate activities.
What are the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?
The following are the most common symptoms of ADHD. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The 3 categories of symptoms of ADHD include the following:
Short attention span for age (difficulty sustaining attention)
Difficulty listening to others
Difficulty attending to details
Poor organizational skills for age
Poor study skills for age
Often interrupts others
Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn in school and/or social games
Tends to blurt out answers instead of waiting to be called upon
Takes frequent risks, and often without thinking before acting
Seems to be in constant motion; runs or climbs, at times with no apparent goal except motion
Has difficulty remaining in his/her seat even when it is expected
Fidgets with hands or squirms when in his or her seat; fidgeting excessively
Has difficulty engaging in quiet activities
Loses or forgets things repeatedly and often
Inability to stay on task; shifts from one task to another without bringing any to completion
The symptoms of ADHD may resemble other medical conditions or behavior problems. Keep in mind that many of these symptoms may occur in children and teens who do not have ADHD. A key element in diagnosis is that the symptoms must significantly impair adaptive functioning in both home and school environments. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
How is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosed?
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavior disorder of childhood. A pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or a qualified mental health professional usually identifies ADHD in children. A detailed history of the child's behavior from parents and teachers, observations of the child's behavior, and psychoeducational testing contribute to making the diagnosis of ADHD. Because ADHD is a group of symptoms, diagnosis depends on evaluating results from several different sources, including physical, neurological, and psychological testing. Certain tests may be used to rule out other conditions, and some may be used to test intelligence and certain skill sets. Consult your child's doctor for more information.
Treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Specific treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of your child's symptoms
Your child's tolerance for specific medications or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
Major components of treatment for children with ADHD include parental support and education in behavioral training, appropriate school placement, and medication. Treatment with a psychostimulant is highly effective in most children with ADHD.
Treatment may include:
Psychostimulant medications. These medications are used for their ability to balance chemicals in the brain that prohibit the child from maintaining attention and controlling impulses. They help "stimulate" or help the brain to focus and may be used to reduce the major characteristics of ADHD.
Medications that are commonly used to treat ADHD include the following:
Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Metadate, Concerta, Methylin)
Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
A mixture of amphetamine salts (Adderall)
Atomoxetine (Strattera). A nonstimulant SNRI (selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) medication with benefits for related mood symptoms.
Psychostimulants have been used to treat childhood behavior disorders since the 1930s and have been widely studied. Traditional immediate release stimulants take effect in the body quickly, work for 1 to 4 hours, and then are eliminated from the body. Many long-acting stimulant medications are also available, lasting 8 to 9 hours, and requiring 1 daily dosing. Doses of stimulant medications need to be timed to match the child's school schedule to help the child pay attention for a longer period of time and improve classroom performance. The common side effects of stimulants may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Rebound activation (when the effect of the stimulant wears off, hyperactive and impulsive behaviors may increase for a short period of time)
Most side effects of stimulant use are mild, decrease with regular use, and respond to dose changes. Always discuss potential side effects with your child's doctor.
Antidepressant medications may also be administered for children and adolescents with ADHD to help improve attention while decreasing aggression, anxiety, and/or depression.
Psychosocial treatments. Parenting children with ADHD may be difficult and can present challenges that create stress within the family. Classes in behavior management skills for parents can help reduce stress for all family members. Training in behavior management skills for parents usually occurs in a group setting which encourages parent-to-parent support. Behavior management skills may include the following:
Contingent attention (responding to the child with positive attention when desired behaviors occur; withholding attention when undesired behaviors occur)
Teachers may also be taught behavior management skills to use in the classroom setting. Training for teachers usually includes use of daily behavior reports that communicate in-school behaviors to parents.
Behavior management techniques tend to improve targeted behaviors (such as completing school work or keeping the child's hands to himself or herself), but are not usually helpful in reducing overall inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
Prevention of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Preventive measures to reduce the incidence of ADHD in children are not known at this time. However, early detection and intervention can reduce the severity of symptoms, decrease the interference of behavioral symptoms on school functioning, enhance the child's normal growth and development, and improve the quality of life experienced by children or adolescents with ADHD.
6 months baby girl swallowed 0.9cm diameter gold coin. What would happen and what should be further steps.
My son says that his right side nipple is paining while sleeping. What may be the reason? He has no fever, no swelling any where in body. Nothing. Is there any serious issue?
My daughter is 6 years old. She doesnt want to eat food. She is very light in wt 17 kg. She got fever four times in last six months and during fever she felt like vomiting. Lab reports suggested three times nothing and once minor urinary track inf. For which she was treated accordingly. She clatters her teeth while sleeping. She was given two doses of albandazole six mths back. Kindly suggest
My son aged 3 & half years old often complains of pain in legs not necessarily both any calcium supplement would help. Otherwise he is active.
My daughter is unable to express herself with words instead she communicates with gestures. Her date of birth is 06-08-2015 and she weighs about 10 kilos. Is it normal for a two year old to utter only a few words or is it something to worry? Please help.
My two month old kid stool, urine and feeding all are normal. He mostly dry cough at night. Doctor prescribed me maxtra and ambrodil lx. I gave him saline drips also. Please advice.
My baby got very weak after gone through a treatment of pneumonia n asphysia n today he is of 14 days. His mom also dont have enough milk. What to do n in how many days he will b fully active.
My baby girl is 48 days old & on her left side breast nipple there is some kind of (funsi). I consult a doctor in max saket & as per her its normal & it will be clear by own by some time. So I need second opinion on this.
Hello sir/mam. My baby is 15 months old and doesn't want to drink plain milk. Can I use Hershey's syrup in her milk. Does it have any side affects. Thank you My second question is am 5 months pregnant and doesn't observe any movement in my tummy. Some Orthodox people use to say that if it starts moving after 5 to 6 months it may be a baby boy. Is that so? Please let me know. thanks.
Develop good study habits. Proper study habits and preparation are the keys to cutting out exam fear
Keep your mind and body healthy by getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising.
Meet with your instructor to aid in focusing your study sessions.
Practice positive self-talk as you prepare for the test. Create a mantra to help you calm your test anxiety. Repeat a phrase, such as" I just need to do my best" or" I will be prepared for this test"
Relax the night before your test. A last-minute review can help you remember facts, but fretting over last-minute studying is likely to cause you more anxiety.
Beat the morning rush by waking up early. Give yourself time to eat a nutritious breakfast that won't weigh you down or feel greasy in your stomach.
Manage your anxiety with relaxation exercises as you wait for the test to start.
Scan the test to find questions that are easy. Answer those test questions to give yourself a confidence boost.
Understand that you are not alone and ask for help as necessary. Exam fear is normal.
Reward yourself after the test is over. The reward gives you the break you deserve after all of your studying. Treating yourself also helps you stop thinking about the test and analyzing every little mistake you may have made.
Please consult a psychologist for counseling and valuable tips.
My daughter is 5 years old but simply refuses to eat anything she is weighing only 14 kgs I have to literally beat her everyday but she just doesn't barge in, Kindly help please. Not sure if she has worms.
My 11 months old daughter licks dirt from floor, paint from walls, or eats soap while bathing. She does this occasionally, not regularly. Please help.
My 3 months old baby boy have rashes in his neck and redness also. I am cleaning his neck with wipes and use Himalaya power but it's not work. Pls tell me what I do?
The ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins.
The name ketogenic means that it produces ketones in the body (keto = ketone, genic = producing). Ketones are formed when the body uses fat for its source of energy.
Usually the body uses carbohydrates (such as sugar, bread, pasta) for its fuel, but because the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, fats become the primary fuel instead.
Ketones are not dangerous. They can be detected in the urine, blood, and breath. Ketones are one of the more likely mechanisms of action of the diet; with higher ketone levels often leading to improved seizure control. However, there are many other theories for why the diet will work.
Growth is the most important aspect of childhood, one that distinguishes children from adults. Growth is affected by a number of diseases and growth failure is often the first sign of a serious disease. Unfortunately children with growth failure present very late when no help is possible.
Why to worry?
Growth is the best marker of health and growth failure may be caused by a seious disease. Moreover children with short stature have lower self esteem.
When to worry?
Plot the height of your child in the growth chart and if it is below the lower limit visit a doctor. Alternatively if your child's height is less than the formula (Height = Age in years x 6 + 77 cm) it may be a cause of concern. Growth stops at the age of 14 years in girls and 16 years in boys. Hence the child should be reviewed latest by 10 years for girls and 12 years for boys.
What causes growth failure?
Growth failure can be due to a number of causes including poor nutrition, lack of physical activities and low genetic potential with parents being short. Short stature can also be caused by a number of diseases like thyroid problems, growth hormone deifiency and celiac disease (wheat allergy).
How can I improve my child's growth?
Please encourage your child to play for atleast 1 hour a day. It is important to restrict screen time including television, computer, tablets and mobiles to less than an hour. Increased protein and calcium intake with more milk, pulses and vegetables also helps in improving growth. Growth hormone is produced during sleep. Sleeping for at least eight hours a day is therefore essential for a child to achieve good growth.
What can be done if my child is very short?
Please consut a doctor to identify the cause of short stature. Most conditions are readily treatable. Children with growth hormone deficiency respond dramatically to growth hormone. Growth hormone is also being used now in children with turner syndrome, familial short staure, small size at birth and kidney disease.
Time is important- act now if your child is short.