Diagnosing ADHD and ADHD Support
ADHD is becoming increasingly recognized by the average person, but many people are still surprised to learn that almost 11 percent of kids age 4-17 have been diagnosed with the disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is an illness affecting children, causing them to have problems paying attention and controlling impulses.
Types of ADHD
Three types of ADHD exist. The most prevalent form, known as ADHD combined type, is when individuals have problems with both hyperactivity and attention. Others with ADHD inattentive subtype only have problems with organization and attention. The third type is called ADHD hyperactive subtype, referring to those with just the hyperactive and impulsive symptoms.
Testing for ADHD
If you believe your child may have ADHD, you should know that to be diagnosed with the condition, their behaviors must first be observed before the age of 12 and last a minimum of six months. Also, at least two areas of the child’s life must have impairment — the home, social settings, or on the playground.
Many kids have problems focusing their attention, but it is important to understand that not all attention problems are because of ADHD. For example, certain conditions like anxiety and depression, problems with schoolwork, or relationship problems can cause a lack of attention. In some cases, the child may be attentive, it is just that their attention is focused in other areas.
If you feel your child has ADHD, the first step in the process is having a thorough evaluation with a mental health professional or the primary care doctor for your child. Children who receive support can usually improve their focus and attention.
Therapy and Other Forms of Support
A qualified mental health professional can help those with ADHD by focusing on assisting parents or guardians in offering positive reinforcement and structure. Individual therapy often helps kids in terms of self-image. The child with ADHD can be taught to identify their strong areas and build upon them. Therapy is also useful for helping the child in coping with their daily problems and learning to control any aggression.
Seek Treatment and Support
Left untreated, children with ADHD may fall behind in school or have relationship problems. This can create a strain and burden upon family relationships as well. Parents often feel guilty when they cannot communicate with their ADHD child. Fortunately, support for ADHD is available to help alleviate these concerns.