Everything you should know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (hereinafter, ADHD) is a clinical situation included within the neurodevelopmental disorders, which affects behavior since childhood and is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in maintaining an optimal level of attention.
  • Excessive movement, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

What are its causes?

The origin of ADHD is multiple, being neurobiological factors the most important, since they affect the normal functioning of the brain. Among the possible causes, genetics is the most important, since children with ADHD usually have a close relative with the same disorder. ADHD is often associated with other problems such as school failure, social difficulties or low self-esteem, which can make it difficult to establish a correct diagnosis. However, studies have shown that inadequate family environments are unfavorable for these children, as they often have a negative impact on them. Fortunately, symptoms disappear in adulthood in half of the cases.

When is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually made around the age of 7 years. Early detection is due to the first signs appearing through poor academic performance or behavioral problems at home or at school. Once detected, treatment should be carried out with the aim of reducing the symptoms of ADHD.

What treatment should be used?

The treatments that offer the best results are the combined or multimodal type, since they work together with drugs, family counseling and psychological care. The evolution will be different in each person, as each individual is unique. However, an early diagnosis, together with the choice of the appropriate treatment, will be fundamental to obtain the best results.

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What are the warning signs in patients?

Risk indicators vary depending on whether the child is in preschool or school.

Preschool

  • When they start walking they are very unruly.
  • They constantly throw things on the floor.
  • They are excessively curious.
  • They are not able to sense danger.
  • Playing is often noisy and lively.
  • They often have tantrums.

Although these symptoms are frequent in preschool children, in the case of children with ADHD they are much more intense and frequent than other children of the same age.

School age

  • Usually their teacher will put a note in their agenda.
  • They are disorganized and forgetful with homework.
  • They are very talkative and interrupt constantly.
  • They do not accept rules.
  • They improve their performance if they are under adult supervision.
  • Within the group they are dominant.
  • They do not respect turns in games.