I occasionally come across a medical column where a parent will ask the doctor what in the world is ADHD Attention Deficit Disorder and how can they detect it in their child. As much publicity and attention that the subject receives, it is still an unknown for many parents. This is probably a good thing. Reading some of the literature that describe teens at risk for a life of academic hell because of undiagnosed ADHD could scare many prospective parents way from having children altogether.
So when a straight forward explanation is provided, it is worth passing along, given all the confusing explanations that parents will come across.
“The term ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is an inherited neurological syndrome that affects 3 to 5 percent of children in the United States. It refers to people who are easily distracted, have a low tolerance for boredom or frustration, and tend to be impulsive and flighty. Some of them are also hyperactive.
Children with ADHD have a pattern of behavior that sets them up for failure in school and conflict with their parents. They have difficulty finishing tasks, remembering details, focusing on a book or assignment or even remaining seated for more than a few minutes. Some appear to be driven from within as they race wildly from one thing to another. They are often very bright and creative, yet they’re seen as lazy, disruptive and terribly disorganized.
ADHD children often suffer from low self-esteem because they have been berated as defiant “goof-offs” who refuse to follow the rules. They sometimes have few friends because they can drive everyone crazy.
It is unwise for parents to attempt to diagnose ADHD themselves. There are many other problems, both psychological and physical, that can cause similar symptoms. Disorders of the thyroid, for example, can make a child hyperactive or sluggish; depression and anxiety can cause the distractibility associated with ADHD. Therefore, you must have assistance from a physician, a child develop mentalist or a psychologist who can confirm the diagnosis.”
By Ann Walker