Children: What are they?


We’ve all encountered children or parents who have children
that suffer from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), that’s
formerly known as ADD (attention deficit disorder). The normal state of being a
child is accompanied by occasional forgetfulness of doing certain tasks when
told to, being a bit irresponsible, or even getting out of control from time to
time. However, when the child exceeds these types mishaps, to the extent of
getting in serious trouble at home or in school due to inattentiveness,
hyperactivity, and hastiness, these are signs of ADHD or ADD. The first
approach treating this disorder and finding the child the right guidance and
help he/she needs, is to understand the symptoms and signs of ADHD. These kids who
can’t seem to sit still, blurt out unsuitable comments at the wrong time, and
don’t follow directions as told, are sometimes categorized as troublemakers and
criticized for being bad children. Though, they might have ADHD or ADD, leading
to these children to not being able to control their actions, words, or
impulsive comments.

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Is ADHD the Same
Things as ADD?


Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a type of ADHD. Three
types of ADHD have been identified, of course depending on the symptoms.


Inattentive Type ADHD: is usually called ADD (attention deficit
disorder). A child with this specific type cannot preserve his/her focus except
on maybe certain activities that captures the child’s interest. In this type,
hyperactivity and impulsivity and quite mild. Instead, the child is: simply
distracted by anything that might be happening nearby, prone to losing and
forgetting things, unable to complete a chore before moving

to the other, pay
attention, follow directions, or be organized.


Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD: is the type of ADHD where the child
generally is incapable of staying still or quiet. He/she is always in an
extremely active state of mind and can’t tone it down. The child may: exclaim
rude or unfitting comments at inappropriate times, leave the class whenever
he/she feels like it, twist and turn, and run around all over the place.


Type ADHD:  has qualities from
both previously mentioned types. Children suffering from this type exhibit
traits of inattentiveness, as well as hyperactivity and impulsivity. The
combined type is considered the “standard” from of ADHD.





Normal Kid Behavior
vs. ADHD:


Although it is not easy to differentiate between attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder and typical “kid behavior”, if the child shows
all the clues of ADHD almost daily and through all situations (at school, home,
outings)- it’s time to take the matter seriously and get some help. If the
signs and symptoms don’t usually appear and occur rarely, then it’s probably
not ADHD. The issues, once understood, can be creatively solved and dealt with
by the parents and child working together.


Symptoms of ADHD:


In general, the symptoms of ADHD vary from child to child.
Children with ADHD are noticed to move a lot, ignore or not even listen to
their parents or caretakers, twist and turn, have trouble enjoying their time
without bothering others, leave tasks incomplete and move to another one, and
so on. However, a child suffering from ADHD doesn’t automatically lack
attentiveness. When the child does things he/she enjoys, it is easy for him/her
to pay attention and maintain full focus, it’s the redundant and unexciting
tasks that cause the child to turn his/her attention to another direction. The
major and most important symptoms are the following:


Inattention: Children who don’t pay attention have a hard time
following up during a conversation, or basically anything presented to them. To
elaborate, these children won’t pay attention to the subject at hand if it
doesn’t appeal to them, instead, they will eventually end up distracted and
daydreaming or an entirely different topic. Being organized and remembering
certain stuff are especially hard to do for these children. Procrastination,
twitchiness, and difficulty completing tasks are noticed.


Ø  Examples
of Inattentiveness in Children: 

1.     Trouble
staying focused

2.     Bored/distracted
whenever spoken to for a long period of time

3.     Difficulty
completing any task given

4.     Organization
& careful planning are impossible

5.     Misplacing
homework & important belongings


Hyperactivity: The second most important symptom in ADHD.
Hyperactive children can’t sit still wherever and whenever remaining in one
place is required. They always seem to be in motion and can’t pay attention and
remain calm in class.


Ø  Examples
of Hyperactivity in Children:

1.     Constant
fidgeting and moving around

2.     Running/climbing
in inappropriate places

3.     Excessive

4.     Making

Impulsivity: the third and final vital sign of ADHD.
Impulsivity is characterized by not thinking before acting. This means that the
child will say whatever is on his/her mind regardless of if it’s appropriate or
not. Nevertheless, impulsivity is not only in words, it is definitely present
in actions which are sometimes even dangerous and can be life-threatening for
the child. These kids have no self-control and usually are perceived as needy,
strange, and impolite. Also, they do not have control over their emotions,
resulting in emotional overreacting and moodiness.


Ø  Examples
of Impulsivity in Children:

1.     Emotional
outbursts/temper tantrums

2.     Acting
without thinking

3.     Guessing,
instead of taking time to comprehend and solve the problem

4.     Intruding
on other people’s personal issues

5.     Saying
the wrong things at the wrong time


Is it really ADHD?


Immediate diagnosis of the child that he/she has ADHD cannot
be based solely on noticing slight symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness,
and impulsivity. Certain trauma, incidents, or psychological problems can play
a role in showing these symptoms. Some possibilities must be ruled out before taking
into consideration that the child is truly suffering from ADHD. Certain
different options might be the cause, for example:

1.     Behavioral
disorders (conduct or oppositional defiant disorder)

2.     Major
life incidents (death, divorce, bullying…)

3.     Psychological
disorders like anxiety and bipolar disorder

4.     Medical
conditions such as sleep disorders, thyroid problems, or neural conditions

5.     Learning
disabilities such as dyslexia, problems with reading or writing


Diagnosing ADHD in


Are you recently discovering signs of disorganization,
distraction, and frequent forgetfulness in your child’s lifestyle? Do you often
look and think instantly that its ADHD? Well, before jumping to conclusions,
you might want to keep in mind that ADHD is a complex disorder that isn’t quite
simple to diagnose. Being a bit hyperactive or occasionally distracted isn’t
necessarily equivalent to ADHD. There is no medical or physical test to
diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. To diagnose this disorder, a
doctor should be present and thoroughly observe the child’s symptoms and
behavior. For sure, this process needs time and the health professional you
chose to follow will use different tools to diagnose the child such as: a
medical exam to rule out other disorders, answers about past and present
problems, and finally, a checklist of symptoms. Confirming the diagnosis of
ADHD requires a number of tests to assess the child’s psychological and
neurological status. The tests must be done by a health professional with previous
experience in diagnosing ADHD, these tests include:

An intelligence, personality, and aptitude
evaluation done with participation from the parents/caretakers, and teachers of
the child

Measuring theta and beta brain waves using a
scan, called the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid System. The
theta/beta proportion has been shown to be higher in children with ADHD than in
children without it

Medical and social history report of the child
and the family

A physical exam and neurological valuation that
includes screenings of vision, hearing, and verbal and motor skills.


When seeking a diagnosis for your child, your role as a parent
and the responsibilities you should take play a very important factor during
this journey. Parents are required to be a major support and act as a backbone
to the child. The child should feel safe and not exposed to any kind of concern
or vulnerability. Also, emotional and practical support are necessary to make
sure this process runs smoothly without the child feeling any kind of worry or
doubt. For example, parents can: 

Provide emotional support during the diagnosis

Guarantee that they’re dealing with a
professional specialist with previous experience

Delivering open and honest answers concerning
the family and child’s history

Look over the speed and precision of evaluation


Moving on, there’s the role of the doctor that will also have
an effect along the process. Typically, more than one specialist is involved in
the assessment process for ADHD in children (school psychologists, clinical
psychologists, physicians, learning specialists…); each one of them play an
important part during the process. Its known that there are no laboratory or
imaging tests available, but the doctor can ask a series of questions that should
be truthfully answered. He/she may also:

Sit for an interview with the parents, child, or
child’s teachers/supervisors

Observe the child during different situations
and times of day

Measure the IQ, or using other psychological

Direct a general psychical and neurological exam


Getting the Child
Evaluated for ADHD:


Commonly, parents might feel stressed and overwhelmed while
figuring out a diagnosis for the child. There are simple steps to take, keeping
in mind that ADHD is a difficult disorder to diagnose on the spot. Therefore,
these feelings can be ruled out by following these steps:

Assign an appointment with an expert: don’t
wait, the earlier the appointment, the more quickly you will get help for the

Give specialists the full image: parents’
perspective is extremely important to the evaluation process

Keep yourself up to date: check in with the
doctor you’re consulting with occasionally to see where and how the diagnosis
is heading

Speak to your child’s school: letting the
supervisors and caretakers of the child know about his/her case works towards
the child’s advantage. Public schools should help, by law, and most cases end
up in the school working towards making the child’s life a better and safe one

Get a second opinion if necessary: you can look
for help in other places or different specialists if there are feelings of any


Getting Help After
an ADHD Diagnosis:


Going through with the diagnosis of ADHD for your child is not
the end, rather than the beginning. Many people don’t get that it needs time,
persistence, and continuous support to help children get through this complex
disorder. To start with, getting the right help will improve and even motivate
the child’s mentality of getting assistance. Furthermore, it is really wrong to
wait after the child is diagnosed, the earlier you seek for help, the better
the results will be. Managing this disorder and working with your child is
going to be hard work. A few things should be kept in mind is that first of
all, ADHD is treatable. This disorder will not get in the way of your child’s
goals of success and happiness. With the right treatment and constant support
from family and friends, the symptoms could be dealt with and kept under
control. Next, treatment is going to be a responsibility on both the child and
the parents. Of course, specialists will help and provide with all of the
information needed, but getting better will lie in the hands of the child and
how the parents will take this matter; seriously or not. Acquiring knowledge
and gathering as much information as one can about ADHD can make this process
even easier. Not only will it help you control your child and know how to
handle him/her, understanding this disorder will make the process of getting
better a much easier one. Finally, what really matters in this process is
support. Support is the key towards moving forward and getting better. Feeling
loved, safe, and encouraged from everyone the child will make him/her want to
get better while thinking in a positive manner simultaneously.


ADHD Treatment:


Medication might improve children’s attentiveness, behavior,
and overall attitude on the short term. However, there is no scientific proof
that medication improves school performance, relationships, or any behavior
issues on the long term. After all, it is known that medication is only a tool,
not a cure. In most cases, professionals prescribe stimulants such as Ritalin
and Adderall, but they might not be the ultimate choice for your child. The
treatment for ADHD is mainly considered to be a blend between a low dosage of
medication, and help from the child’s surroundings. Teachers, parents, and the
therapist should all be helpful and supportive to encourage the child mentally.
The first step to getting better should start with support, considering that
children with ADHD are generally emotional and in need of major care. There are
a few things that the people responsible for the child should know. The first
thing is that finding the perfect and most suitable medication takes time
keeping in mind that every child reacts differently to the medication. Also,
the side effects vary from child to child, making some of them improve
dramatically leaving the other children with no noticeable progress. Next up,
is that the key to making the most out of medication, is if it’s combined with
other sources that teach children new coping aids. Furthermore, children must
be regularly supervised and the professional should be kept up to date on the
child’s status. Medication for ADHD is not a simple thing to handle, there
might be side-effects or the dosage might need changing. The pills can be able
to change the child’s mood and feelings. In general, it’s not just taking the
pill and hoping for the best, the process needs close monitoring and caution.
Finally, if the caretakers of the child see that there is no improvement after
a long period of time, it is safe to stop the medication. After all, no one
would want the child to continue taking this medication without it having an
effect. However, the parents will for sure have to check with the doctor and
keeping him/her updated.


ADHD Treatment: It
Starts at Home


As a parent, you play huge role in your child’s process of
treatment. It is of the utmost importance that your child doesn’t get affected
in an extremely negative way. Otherwise, something must be done about it. The
child must always be provided with feelings of comfort, safety, and happiness.
Recent studies show that having a healthy diet, regularly exercising, and
mostly making more healthy and smart life choices for the child can make a
drastic change and ease up the treatment process.


The Importance of
Exercise in ADHD Treatment:


Unlike ADHD medication, exercising and playing outside for a
minimum of 30 minutes a day is free of side-effects and doesn’t need any kind
of prescription. It is the easiest and most effective way to get rid or lessen
the symptoms of ADHD. Physical
activity increases the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels-
all of which are associated with focus and attention. In this way, exercise and
medications for ADHD such as Ritalin and Adderall work similarly. Activities
like gymnastics, basketball, football, or even playing with friends in the
field require constant body motion are extremely effective for children with


The Importance of Sleep in ADHD Treatment:


Sleep is
important to every person on the planet, but it is even more important and has
a massive improvement on children with ADHD. Getting a healthy and sufficient
amount of sleep overnight helps the child remain focused and calm during the day.
Also, it helps him/her feeling fresh and active which benefits the child in his
overall performance whether at school or at home. Stimulants might prevent the
child from getting enough sleep or falling asleep to start with. Decreasing the
dose or stopping these stimulants will solve this problem in no time. However,
a big percentage of children who don’t take stimulants also have difficulties
sleeping at night. There are a few tips and tricks to help the child fall


the child before bed mentally and physically

a regular bedtime and oblige it

off all electronic devices at least an hour or two before bed



The Importance of Good Nutrition in ADHD


with ADHD need special attention when it comes to their daily nutrition and
their diet plan. What and at what time these kids consume their meals affects
them in numerous ways. Avoiding artificial, processed, and sugary food can help
control the symptoms and decreasing them or make them more tolerable. It is
important to pay attention to the child’s daily diet and types of food
consumption. Eating at late hours of the night is extremely unhealthy for
children and will aid in keeping them alert and more energetic at night,
resulting in them feeling drained throughout the day. Parents should schedule a
regular and organized diet plan for their children, in which there are three
meals a day and three snacks no more than three hours apart. This definitely
helps keep the child’s blood sugar level, keeping the attention and
concentration in check. Adding complex carbohydrates and proteins allows the
child to feel more attentive and less hyperactive in the day. Moreover, doing
regular blood tests and checkups is mandatory, it helps parents know if they
need to make any alterations to the child’s diet plan. Finally, fish oil
capsules or food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. salmon, tuna,
sardines, dairy products…) works wonders for the child’s concentration levels.


How to Deal with Side Effects:


Most of
the time, the effects of the stimulants and other medication children with ADHD
take, become unbearable and hard to cope with. The wrong dosage could be given
to the child, or even the wrong kind of pills. It needs time to figure out
whether the drugs the child is taking, are actually the right ones for him/her.
Parents in most cases usually go through a handful of trial and error phases to
notice the side effects and improvement of the child. The following tips might
be helpful in the process of handling these common side effects in children:


Loss of
Appetite: This first side effect is common in all children due to these drugs
making them not want to eat, thus causing the children to lose specific
vitamins and nutrients needed by their bodies, especially for their age. Vital
calories, vitamins, and other nutrients are needed to be consumed daily. The
first thing to do is to simply step back and take a short break from medication.
At least for the child to feel well and eat right again, parents can continue
with the medication. The next solution is giving a healthy breakfast and
dinner. For, children who aren’t hungry often tend to skip lunch, so dinner and
breakfast become the most important and central meals of the day. Parents must
make sure that these meals are rich with the important nutrients required for
the child. Because some drugs have an effect that lasts all day, the last
resort is to try a drug that effects the child but not all day. Some other
medications have effects that last 4-5 hours a day. This allows the child to
eat more and be healthy.


Difficulties: As previously mentioned, sleep problems are one of the ADHD
medication side effects and it can also become really troubling for the parents
and the child himself. Although being patient concerning this problem is an
option, there are other solutions one could try. For example, turning off all
electronics and devices that excite the child to keep him up is necessary.
Overstimulation of children’s brains prevents them from having a good and
healthy night’s sleep. Also, it is important to make sure that the child is
sleeping in a safe and comfortable environment. Since the light alerts the body
and wakes it up, darkness is required for the child to be able to sleep.
Turning on the air conditioner if it’s hot and to warm the room up if it’s
extremely cold. A traditional exercise helps too, which is counting backwards
from 100 to 1. This is considered to be the best method to help children fall


and Headache: ADHD medications usually cause uncomfortable nausea and
headaches, this usually goes away after a while. But in the meantime, parents need
to make sure that the child takes the medicine along with his/her meal.


Growth: It has been noticed that sometimes kids experience a slowed growth but
then seem to catch up after 2-3 years. Kids who stop and take a break from ADHD
drugs during the vacations and what not might not experience this.



Positive Effects of ADHD in Children:


though ADHD is a complex and a tough experience to go through for the parents
and the child, it has some positive effects on children. Don’t think that because
children with ADHD get distracted means that their mind is blank and dull, they
might be thinking and coming up with ideas nobody has ever thought of. Children
with ADHD are really creative since their minds are always stirring up with
imaginative and innovative images. Also, they have the tendency to understand
that life is full of options, they don’t settle with one things. These kids
always know that if one thing fails to work, then there is an alternative.
Their minds are flexible even at such a young age. People have rarely
encountered children with ADHD that are boring, it’s because of their energy
and positive vibes that they keep everyone around them interested and more
excited to get to know what’s on their mind. Their constant positivity and
interest in various topics hardly makes people around them feel uninterested.
Finally, their energy and ambition doesn’t allow anyone to distract these kids
from something they’re deeply interested in and dedicated to.



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