Monday, October 17, 2016

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Did you know: That approximately 50% of children with Neurofibromatosis have ADD or ADHD, where in the general population approximately 3-5% of children have ADD/ADHD?

Now that you have that tidbit of information, here is some information for you all about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)!

Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is it: A neurobehavioural disorder that makes it more difficult for children to control their behaviours and be able to pay attention. 

Causes: ADD and ADHD are caused by a decreased amount of special chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically dopamine. Dopamine plays a role in things like movement, memory, behaviour and cognition, attention, mood and learning. Genetics are also thought to be a culprit in the cause of ADD/ADHD, as approximately 40% of children diagnosed with the condition have relatives with the same disorder. 

Signs and Symptoms: There are three main symptoms of ADD/ADHD:  

a) Focusing difficulties - children have a hard time focusing/staying focused on a task or activity they are trying to do

b) Hyperactive - when a child has an excessive amount of energy 

c) Impulsive - this is when children act before they consider what the consequences of their actions might be 

Other signs and symptoms that can arise from a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD are sleep problems (insomina), excessive amounts of daydreaming, decreased ability to perform in school due to inability to concentrate, inability to recognize other people's needs and difficulty regulating emotions. About 50% of children with ADD/ADHD will carry these complications with them into adulthood. 

When does it usually start: Usually the age of onset for ADD/ADHD is around the age of 7 years old. Diagnosing a child with ADD/ADHD can sometimes prove to be difficult as many children are often very active, day dreamers etc. However, it becomes apparent that a child does have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD when two areas in their lives are seriously affected (school, home life, social life, etc). Boys are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed, but girls symptoms are typically just as severe as boys. 

Treatments/Interventions: Treatment depends on each and every individual, and is modified to meet the needs of the child. Typical treatments include medications, psychoeducation (educating the child/family on their condition), social skills training(helps kids learn to relate to one another), individualized psychotherapy and special supervision in school. Sometimes it helps for parents to get some education on ADD/ADHD or learn how to adapt their parenting skills to best support their child. 

What is the difference between ADD and ADHD: The biggest difference between ADD and ADHD is that children with ADHD have the added symptom of being hyperactive or have excessive restlessness or energy.




I hope you all learned something new! 

Court 

References: 
http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/signs#Unfocused6
http://www.douglas.qc.ca/info/attention-deficit-disorder-causes-treatments
http://www.news-medical.net/health/Dopamine-Functions.aspx