What is ADD in Children?
Attention Deficit Disorder, or as it’s more commonly known ADD, represents a groups of symptoms which affect a person’s focusing ability and concentration. This disorder is usually noticed in children, but there are some situations in which it remains untreated and can continue to develop in adulthood as well.
There are three main groups characterizing various ADD forms and these are the inattentive type, the hyperactive and impulsive type and the combined type whose distinguishing is linked to the severity, age of appearance or way in which it manifests.
Although most of the people mistaken ADD with ADHD and believe it’s the same thing, there are some differences between the two in the idea that those suffering from ADD can include symptoms of hyperactivity, but it’s not a necessity or a general rule. On the other hand, a feature that applies both to the main group, as well as the particular hyperactivity condition, relies on the fact that people who suffer from any present with big difficulties when it comes to keeping their mind focused at a certain thing.
So far, all possible causes behind ADD are suppositions and there is no specific reason behind the development of this disorder. However, there are certain things which are believed to have a bigger impact upon its apparition and these include the family history, destructive behaviors during pregnancy, environmental factors such as toxins, and potential brain injuries that occur during childhood that may affect its structure. However, opinions are currently divided and while there are some experts that claim only the biological factors to be of any influence, there are others who believe that external determinants also have a reliable impact.
Although an exact cause behind ADD in children is currently unknown, some scientists suspect that among the main biological reasons are genetics and heredity, chemical imbalances, and some changes in the brain area. The genetic determination was pointed out by the fact that the percentage of appearance seems to be raised in kids whose relatives have suffered or suffer from this condition. A study indicated that approximately twenty-five percent of the families whose members had it, may pass it to their child while the percentage drops at five in those with no family link.
Furthermore, it appears that the regions of the brain which are in control of attention are less active than in normal children. The chemical imbalances refer to the fact that the amount of chemical s found in key parts of the brain which usually focus on thought organizing is smaller than usual. This is why the nerves can’t properly communicate with each other, thus the organizing centers aren’t functioning within normal parameters.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of children that have ADD vary depending on the type of disorder. On the other hand, there are some which are believed to be common and include avoiding activities which require sustained effort, getting easily distracted, having a tendency towards daydreaming, rarely following instructions, often losing things such as books, toys, and pencils, forgetting details linked to daily activities, and becoming distracted due to irrelevant sounds and sights.
On the other hand, depending on the type, there are some predominant symptoms that may appear. For example, in the type described by hyperactive-impulsive, the individual doesn’t manifest significant inattention while in the predominantly type, the person doesn’t show hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. The combined form contains basically all categories of symptoms.
To describe it in short terms, this means that children who suffer from the inattentive form will more likely manifest troubles in maintaining attention-span throughout activities or tasks, inability to follow directions and rules, which means that the kid has high chances of failing at school-related chores, disliking things which require maintained effort such as homework, a predisposition toward being easily-distracted, and impediments when it comes to organizing or categorizing certain things.
The hyperactive-impulsive category of ADD will show signs such as constant squirms and fidgets, moves around and often climbs inappropriately, difficulty relaxing or playing quiet, and a quick temper which is to be noticed in situations in which he or she is put under pressure. The combined type can experience any of the above mentioned symptoms.
Diagnosing ADD in Children
As we’ve previously mentioned, due to the fact that there is no certainty when it comes to the reasons behind the development of the disorder, a proper diagnosis of ADD can be put after a visit to a specialized doctor during which a series of tests, a family history, and a physical exam may be needed. Unfortunately, in most situations, children who are suffering from this condition are overlooked because there is no specific sign that points it out, but more like an accumulation noticed throughout several months. This is why it’s important for parents that have observed an odd behavior in their child whose motives aren’t linked to the house environment, trauma, or other medical issue, to take their child to a control, particularly if the symptoms persist.
Treatment for ADD in Children
If a child suffers from ADD and he or she is left untreated there are high chances for the persistence of this issue in adulthood. Furthermore, if the problem aggravates, the child may experience an increase in their focus and concentration problems, get frequently into troubles at school, and find it very difficult to meet and talk to new people.
One of the first steps in dealing with this disorder is child therapy in which the parent or therapist is a teacher for the kid and teaches him or her how to act in certain situations, how to maintain concentration, and many other things, depending on the manifestation of ADD. Furthermore, personalized medical medication can be added, although it is important to properly follow the instructions found on the label of the drug and don’t exceed the recommended amounts.
Parents who don’t want to expose their kids to medication can try an alternative approach based on dietary supplementation. In order to make the right decision, they should look for natural products that feature ingredients such as Omega-3 in combination with Omega-6 or Omega-9, Skullcap, Valerian, Brahmi, Passion flower, Chamomile, Lemon balm, St. John’s Wort, and Hops.