A Common Disorder in Children, ADHD Can Affect School, Home Life
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is a common brain disorder in children. It can begin in early childhood, continue through adolescence and into early adulthood. ADHD in kids can make it difficult for those who have the disorder to concentrate in school, finish tasks at home or get along well with other children.
What is ADHD in Children?
ADHD in children occurs when areas of the brain are developmentally delayed. Studies that have been done on brain scans of children with and without ADHD show that children with the disorder have brains that develop properly but are delayed by approximately three years. There are three main types of ADHD in children:
- Combined type – Children with this type are inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive. This is the most common form of ADHD.
- Hyperactive-impulsive type – Children display these two symptoms of ADHD but are easily able to pay attention.
- Inattentive type – Children have difficulty staying focused but are not hyperactive
Symptoms of ADHD in Children
The three main symptoms, as previously mentioned, are children who are inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive or a combination of the three. Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty in sharing or taking turns
- Constantly moving
- Have trouble playing quietly
- Talk excessively
Some of the symptoms of ADHD in children can mimic more serious conditions such as anxiety or depression. There is no specific test for ADHD. Parents who believe their children may have the disorder and who present symptoms for more than six months should talk with a doctor in order to determine if their child has this disorder.
ADHD Treatment Options
Though there is no cure for ADHD, many children get relief from the symptoms through different treatment options.
ADHD Medications for Children
Stimulants are often prescribed for children with this disorder. These medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, can help to decrease hyperactivity and improve concentration in children. Many children take their medication only on days that they attend school in order to improve behavior during school hours.
ADHD Diet for Kids
Though there is no scientific evidence that supports following a certain diet may help ADHD, many parents try adding supplements or eliminating foods in order to relieve the symptoms of the disorder. Popular ADHD diets include eating high amounts of protein and low amounts of refined carbohydrates, eating foods with omega-3 fatty acids and eating foods with complex carbohydrates such as fruit.
ADHD affects approximately 11 percent of school-aged children. Recognizing the disorder and treating the symptoms can help these children do better in school, at home and with friends.