The definitions, etiology, and symptoms manifestations for some of the disorders for which families commonly seek professional consultation for are provided. The explanation of the disorders provided here are just guidelines for the most common causes of referrals not limited to the range of services provided at the department.
ADHD is the acronym for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is the most common psychiatric disorder in children. It is a chronic disorder that is considered to be neuro-psychiatric disorder. Inattention (difficulty staying focused and paying attention), hyperactivity (over-activity) and impulsivity (difficulty controlling behavior) are the key behaviors of ADHD.
If not treated properly, it increases the risk of delinquency, drug abuse and academic poor performance. It is often associated with other emotional, behavioral and social problems. There is high prevalence of low self-esteem in children with ADHD. Learning disabilities, disruptive and oppositional behavior are often a common co-morbidity.
Facts about ADHD
- Affects about 3 to 5 percent of children globally
- Diagnosed in about 2 to 16 percent of school aged children
- ADHD is diagnosed two to four times as frequently in boys as in girls
- 20% children continue to experience symptoms in adulthood as well
ADHD has three subtypes:
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
- Predominantly inattentive
- Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
What does an ADHD child look like in daily life?
The ADHD child is a high maintenance child who requires almost constant supervision. They are difficult children who do not like to sit down, wait their turn, or be quiet. As toddlers, they run away from parents in stores, jump up and down in restaurant and scream in inappropriate places. In preschool, they run around almost constantly, grab toys, do not listen to teachers, and seem to never tire out. In elementary school, they wander around the classroom, disturb the other students, shout out answers, and talk too much. On the play- ground, they grab the ball, disrupt games, and shove their way in line. At home, constant battles ensue over every minor request and rule. Wherever they are, they talk too much, too loudly, too often, and in places where they should be quiet. They have trouble settling down and playing quietly; however, if they enjoy television, computers, or video games, they are able to sit peacefully for long stretches at a time. The ADHD child tries the patience of everyone. They frequently are rejected by their peers, especially as they get older. They frustrate their parents, teachers, coaches, and babysitters.
What does an ADD child look like in daily life?
The ADD child is usually a cooperative child who simply is unable to function well in situations that require sustained attention and organization. They typically are nice children who are not outright defiant, but just have great trouble finding the mental energy it takes to pay attention to things that are not especially exciting to them. These children are forgetful in everyday routines, seeming to have never heard the rules and routine before. They will carelessly add when they should subtract and multiply when they should divide. They are more interested in the noise outside than listening to the teacher. While it is no trouble to play video games for hours, doing five math problems causes tears and tantrums. They lose their back- pack, homework, jacket, and lunchbox. Chores and homework rarely get finished without great effort by parents. Their desk, backpack, and bedroom look like mystery science projects you are scared to go near. All this goes on while they seem to be happily daydreaming the day away. As long as no one is asking them to do something, they are fine. It is when it is time to pay attention and complete tasks that the trouble surfaces.
Etiology of ADHD