ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. These terms are used interchangeably. ADHD is generally a more complex and serious attention disorder that involves hyperactivity component.
Globally, 3-5% of children have this disorder (APA, 1998), though all of them may not be diagnosed, and its symptoms may continue till adulthood. In the prekindergarten and kindergarten age groups, 14 to 20 % of the boys and approximately 5to 7 % of girls have ADHD.
An individual suffering from ADHD/ADD would typically display inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulsivity more frequently than others of his age group.
Symptoms of ADHD in children are generally grouped into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
- Does not follow directions or finish tasks
- Does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking
- Forgetful about daily activities
- Has problems organizing daily tasks
- Avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort
- Often loses things, including personal items
- Lack of focused attention
- Easily distracted by other stimuli and go off on a tangent
- Failing to finish the work at hand
- Attention process is quite variable – “in-tune” and finish all work and the other day, “be in a fog”
- Day dreaming _ internal thought process
- Does not stay seated as expected
- Difficulty playing quietly
- Always moving, such as running or climbing on things
- Talks excessively
- Restless and find it especially hard to settle down for quiet activity such as reading or nap time.
- Appear to be driven – will go from one activity to the other, to seek more stimulation
- Enhanced self-stimulation (making noise, talk) can come from excess overt motor activity.
- Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
- Blurts out answers before the question has been completed
- Often interrupts others
- General lack of self-control
- “Think after they act”. By this time, it’s too late-they have already done it and are in trouble again. An average child who gets punched in a line in school may first look to see if the teacher is watching before he punches back; the child with ADD/ADHD in the same situation responds impulsively and reflexively – and often gets caught and thus labeled as “the aggressor”.
ADHD and adults
Adult having ADHD/ADD maylook different than the symptoms in children. In addition, they may be related to ADHD or may be the result of other behavioral issues. Symptoms include:
- Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
- Low self-esteem
- Employment problems
- Difficulty controlling anger
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Poor organization skills
- Low frustration tolerance
- Chronic boredom
- Difficulty concentrating when reading
- Mood swings
- Relationship problems
The causes of ADHD are still not completely understood but scientific studies have pursued certain directions of research to determine some probable causes, such as genetic predisposition and the structure of the brain, which seems to differ in ADHD individuals as compared to non-ADHD individuals.
ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by over activity, impulsivity, and inattention…ADHD/ADD in school or community surveys from 1978 to 2005, indicated that the world-wide prevalence rate was 5.3% and that the estimates for children and adolescents were approximately 7% and 3%, respectively, and the symptoms affect “daily living, family interactions, social interactions, and academic achievements.
It is commonly known that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have difficulty academically, but some of the biggest setbacks are the social barrier along with increased health problems. With the increased impulsivity, many children will end up with criminal records as they reach maturity.
A close link has been observed between ADHD and ODD. According to research, about 40 percent of children with ADHD also develop opposition defiant disorder (ODD).
- ODD may be related with ADHD-related impulsivity. “Many ADHD kids who are diagnosed with ODD are showing oppositional characteristics by default,” says Houston-based child psychologist Carol Brady, Ph.D. “They misbehave not because they’re intentionally oppositional, but because they can’t control their impulses.”
- Other experts suggest that ODD is a way for kids to cope with the frustration and emotional pain associated with having ADHD.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
According to research, this disorder is more common in boys than in girls. Studies have shown that it affects 20% of school-age children. This behavior typically starts by age 8, but it may start as early as the preschool years. This disorder is thought to be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors.
- Actively does not follow adults’ requests
- Angry and resentful towards others
- Argues with adults
- Blames others for own mistakes
- Has few or no friends or has lost friends
- Is in constant trouble in school
- Loses temper
- Spiteful or seeks revenge
- Touchy or easily annoyed
- Chronic aggression
- Frequent outbursts
- A tendency to engage in intentionally annoying behavior
These behavior patterns need to last for at least 6 months before the child is diagnosed with ODD, and must be more than normal childhood misbehavior.
The pattern of behaviors must be different from those of other children around the same age and developmental level. The behavior affects school or social activities of the child significantly.
When these behaviors persist till 18 years of age, they turn in to the Conduct disorder.
Remedies offered by IMPACT
IMPACT begins with a focus on academic and behavioral issues of an ADHD child. Our major emphasis is on improving the child’s focus and concentration, so that the child is able to pay sustained attention to a given task. Mostly, children are having difficulty finishing work in class or take a longer time to do homework, it happens due to a larger number of students in class and overall due to paying consistent attention to work.
We use different programs to improve children’s focus and attention span,different strategies are taught to children and their parents to achieve this. Besides this, behavioral contracts and token economy programs are also used.
Work with an ADHD child is not complete without involving the family, since many changes are required at home also.