Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a pretty common chronic condition in Australia. The condition is accepted in medical professions but there are many people who disagree with the existence of this medical condition as well as with the number of people affected. According to 2000’s statistics, 11% of adolescents and children suffer from ADHD which is a total of over 951,871 officially diagnosed children in this country alone with the exception of children from dysfunctional families or with mental illness.
With almost a million children and young adults suffering from ADHD, it is surprising that there aren’t more programs available in educational institutions to assist children. Perhaps if more people became aware of the condition we could see many more programs to help children deal with and overcome ADHD.
Here is a quick guide to help you understand ADHD better. For more information, you can visit Think Organise Do and they’ll be able to provide more indepth understanding of the various conditions and treatments.
What exactly is ADHD?
ADHD is a chronic disorder that has a huge effect on one’s ability to stay focused and to practice self-control in daily life. The condition mainly affects a group of key skills known as the executive function which includes focus, concentration, organisation skills, memory and more. The condition runs in the family and basically includes everyone that has different wiring in the anatomy and brain than the biggest part of the population. The condition is especially common amongst children and can affect their ability to get along with others, in school, and in everyday life although the condition can also be persistent in adulthood. ADHD symptoms can be mild in children or adults in which case they can function relatively normal or the symptoms can be extreme which might result in learning difficulties, memory problems, a low self-esteem, troubled relationships and much more.
How to identify ADHD
Everyone suffers from ADHD symptoms at one point in their life and this is exactly what causes all the controversy regarding the condition. The symptoms often result in many children being wrongfully diagnosed with the condition. It is, however, important to identify and treat ADHD from an early stage or children could end up suffering terribly throughout their lives.
ADHD has many symptoms but the condition needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional that specialises in this and similar conditions such as Autism, SPD and more so the child can get the right treatment for the condition. If your child shows the following symptoms then it might be time to seek professional assistance;
- Time management difficulties
- Difficulties with getting and staying organised
- Cannot seem to manage emotions well
- Difficulties with paying attention
- Difficulties with remembering things
- Struggling to focus and focus is constantly shifting
- Struggles to get started on tasks
- Don’t think before acting
Related issues can co-occur with ADHD
ADHD commonly coexists with other issues and especially learning issues. The co-existence of these issues also makes it incredibly hard for medical professionals to make an accurate diagnosis with regards to this disorder. Here are the most common co-occurring issues that are frequently mistaken for ADHD
- Dyscalculia and dysgraphia
- Slow processing speed
- Sensory problems
- Auditory processing disorder
- Verbal and language difficulties
- Learning disabilities
How to get ADHD diagnosed
This disorder cannot be diagnosed through blood testing. Professional evaluators will diagnose the condition by performing a series of evaluations and tests such as questionnaires, interviews and examinations. The types of medical professionals equipped to diagnose and treat ADHD include the following;
- Pediatric neuropsychologists
- Psychiatric nurse practitioners
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Licensed mental health counsellors
- Licensed family therapists
It is always best to get ADHD diagnosed before a child starts out in school since this is the time when the condition will have the biggest impact on a child’s life and future. With proper treatment children with ADHD can live relatively normal lives and can overcome everyday challenges quicker.