ADHD is an acronym we hear about a lot these days. It stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It has two sub types – attentive or inattentive. In simple terms, ADHD is a condition characterized by problems paying attention, low or high activity levels with impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development that is considered age-inappropriate.
It’s important to remember that diagnosing ADHD can be done only by a qualified physician or psychologist – not by parents or educators, however well-meaning they may be.
This condition typically presents in school-age children and causes them much stress and strain during their growing-up years. Some studies indicate that 5% more children each year are diagnosed with ADHD than in the previous year.
October is ADHD Awareness Month, so we’d like to present some information that will be helpful to parents with children who have problems paying attention, whether or not they’ve been diagnosed with ADHD.
Distractedness and problems paying attention are not necessarily ADHD
There are many reasons why a child might have trouble focusing and paying attention. Lack of interest in the subject, not understanding the concept, preoccupation with something else, lack of sleep, poor nutrition – these are just a few of the reasons attention can be blocked. Actual ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, not by environmental, metabolic or cognitive concerns.
Parents today often worry that their children may have ADHD, when really something else is at the root of the behavior being observed.
Riveted attention doesn’t rule out ADHD
Some kids can focus on TV, a video game or a sporting event for hours at a time. Does this mean they don’t have ADHD? Not necessarily. Just about any child can stay involved with something he or she is highly interested in. “Problems paying attention” doesn’t mean “can never pay attention.” Remember, an attention problem is just one factor in diagnosing this complicated condition.
If your child exhibits behavior that might indicate ADHD, your first step is to consult a medical professional who is capable of making an accurate diagnosis. Bypass all the guessing games and get to the bottom of the problem so you can take the right, proactive approach.
To learn more about how The KnILE Center of Richmond, Texas, provides outstanding educational opportunities to children with ADHD, call us today at (281) 761-6610.