What You Should Know About ADD and ADHD
In recent years ADD and ADHD have exploded into the awareness of the world. Where once hyper children were simply a handful, now a very real disorder has been identified that keeps them from behaving like other children. Their brains have been shown to work in demonstrably different ways than those of the general population in a similar way to the brains of a child with dyslexia or asberger's syndrome.
Despite the fact that the disease is a very real problem for the children and adults who have it, it is not yet very well understood in the community of parents, doctors and teachers that must identify and assist these children. In an effort not to miss these children, cases of ADD and ADHD are now being over diagnosed and children are consequently being overmedicated and over treated. As a parent, you need to know about this disease in case you ever need to make the decision about whether your child should be medicated for showing signs of hyperactivity.
What is ADD? ADHD?
ADD and ADHD are actually two separate, but related disorders with separate symptoms. ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. You rarely see the two mentioned separately because the American standard is to deal with these two disorders and a host of similar conditions in the same general fashion. Officially, this disorder is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder characterized by attentional problems and hyperactivity.
For the issue to be considered a disorder, it must meet specific conditions, for example that the behavior begins before the age of seven, as there are many sets of circumstances that may result in the appearance of ADD or ADHD without the physical presence of the disorder. Children with the disorder lag behind in their brain's development to such an extent that their lives are compromised both socially and academically.
What Can We Do About ADD/ADHD?
At this time we have not identified a cause for the disease. We know that it can be influenced by a host of genetic and environmental factors but there is no single condition that we can pick out of the crowd and use to defined the conditions of the disease. This means that there is simply no way to predict whether your child might develop the disorder. Still, you should not be too worried about it unless there is a family history of the disorder. Because you know your child and their behavior best, you are likely to be one of the first people to notice the issue. You can contact your doctor to begin the process of diagnosis and treatment.
Children with the disorder are treated in one of three ways: Behavioral Treatment, Medication, or a combination of the two. The combined approach seems to work best to provide the child with a long term set of coping abilities, but ADD/ADHD is a chronic problem and at this time there is no cure available. All we can do is try to prepare affected children to function alongside the general population.