Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) is characterized
by a persistent pattern of differences in attention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity that can impact daily functioning and may lead to social, academic, and occupational challenges. It occurs in an average of 5.9% - 7.1% of children and young adults worldwide.
What are the differences?
Studies show that individuals with ADHD may experience differences in brain activity in areas related to problem-solving, planning, understanding other's actions, and impulse control.
The experiences associated with ADHD can be categorized into two groups:
1. Differences in attention
2. Impulsivity and hyperactivity
The experiences related to attention differences may include:
· a shorter attention span
· difficulty focusing
· remembering or retaining information
· organizing tasks
· seeking out new experiences
· becoming easily bored
· differences in attention to detail
· challenges with listening skills
Hyperactivity and impulsivity-related differences may include:
· Fidgeting or difficulty sitting still
· May engage in more physical movement or talking
· Waiting for a turn may be more challenging
· Acting impulsively
· Interruptions during conversations may occur more frequently
· Engaging in risk-taking behaviors
Causes of ADHD
The factors contributing to the development of ADHD are not fully understood, but a combination of genetic and neurochemical differences likely play a role. Some individuals may have a higher likelihood of experiencing ADHD, such as those born prematurely or with low birth weight, epilepsy, or brain damage. Research suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental factors may all contribute to the development of ADHD.
While ADHD differences may mean that your child will benefit from approaching the world in a way which uses their strengths. If you feel that your child may need support it is best to seek out professional assistance.
Strategies such as breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps, using visual aids to enhance organization, or taking regular breaks to manage energy levels can be beneficial.
Medication is often provided to improve focus, decrease impulsivity, and promote a sense of calm. Along with medication, therapy can sometimes be beneficial.
· Psychoeducation to understand how ADHD affects an individual and to develop supportive strategies.
· Behavioural support for children.
· Parent training and education programs to improve communication and support for their child.
· Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can sometimes also be helpful.
Combining medication and therapy can provide a comprehensive approach to supporting ADHD differences, such as improving attention and developing organizational skills and coping strategies.
Making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and getting sufficient sleep can also help. Creating a structured environment with consistent routines and seeking support from family, friends, and mental health professionals can also be beneficial.
It's also important to embrace and celebrate the unique strengths and abilities that come with ADHD. With the right approach, individuals with ADHD can utilize their creativity to excel in diverse fields and activities.