Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. Child & Adolescent ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder in children, affecting about 7% of all children.
Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. They may have trouble paying attention. These behaviours interfere with school and home life.
Childhood & Adolescent ADHD is more common in boys than in girls. It’s usually discovered during the early school years when a child begins to have problems paying attention.
Symptoms are grouped into three categories:
Inattention: A child with ADHD:
• Is easily distracted
• Doesn’t follow directions or finish tasks
• Doesn’t appear to be listening
• Doesn’t pay attention and makes careless mistakes
• Forgets about daily activities
• Have problems organizing daily tasks
• Doesn’t like to do things that require sitting still
• Often loses things
• Tends to daydream
Hyperactivity: A child with ADHD:
• Often squirms fidgets, or bounces when sitting
• Doesn’t stay seated
• Has trouble playing quietly
• Is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as restlessness.)
• Talks excessively
• Is always “on the go” as if “driven by a motor”
Impulsivity: A child with ADHD:
• Has trouble waiting for his or her turn
• Blurts out answers
• Interrupts others
• Having structure and a routine can help children and adolescents with ADHD function more successfully on a daily basis.
• Behaviour modification teaches ways to replace unwanted behaviours with more appropriate ones.
• Psychotherapy (counselling) can help someone with ADHD learn better ways to handle their emotions and frustration. It can also help improve their self-esteem. Counselling may also help family members better understand the child or adolescent with ADHD.
• Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Therapy is also helpful in managing stress and in relaxation.
• Social skills training can teach behaviours, such as taking turns, sharing, and relationship development at home, school and work.