Is every child who is restless in the classroom or at home a “hyperactive” child and has ADHD or ADD?
Not every child who is described as “hyper” by teachers or parents, indicating that she/he likes to play a lot and she/he does not pay attention to the explanation, etc. is a child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
What are the factors that indicate the likelihood that the child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)?
It is important that children have the energy and vitality to live a “normal” and prosperous childhood. However, when energy is in excess negatively affects their daily lives (academically and / or socially), the child may have a disorder. For example, a child may be tend to get bored or lose interest quickly; or it may be difficult to sit for a long time in the classroom, and she/he may disturb peers in the class.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) varies from child to child, and the child may be suffering from mild, moderate, or severe disorders.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by a continuous pattern of difficulty in attention and / or hyperactivity and / or impulsivity that negatively affects daily life.
According to the Diagnostic Manual and the Fifth Specialist for Mental Disorders (DSM), diagnosis of ADHD needs the following elements:
– Symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or lack of attention before reaching 12 years old.
– Characterize these characteristics of the child in at least two places.
– Identifying psychological disorders that might cause this behavior.
How do we know if a child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is also associated with psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. Some children may express psychological difficulties through their behavior. For this reason, it is important to consult a psychologist for children and adolescents before “classification”, in order to determine the cause or causes of hyperactivity and scientific diagnosis.
This is said for the following reasons:
First, there are three subtypes of ADHD: (1) the type in which motor activity and impulsivity re combined with attention deficit at the same time, (2) the type of attention deficit, and (3) the type of hyperactive activity and impulsivity.
Second, ADHD symptoms, such as hyperactivity and distraction, may be present with other disorders such as anxiety. A child suffering from anxiety tends to hyperactivity when she or he is tense; and there are other cases where behavioral difficulties cannot be differentiated from anxiety.
Third, there are disorders such as mood disorders and depression that might be difficult to diagnose because the factors that lead to diagnosis of ADHD are present in the child but only because of psychological disorder. This can lead to a misdiagnosis.
Fourth: Sometimes there are biological causes, such as sleep problems and increase the level of sugar, which lead to hyperactivity. In this case, one cannot say that the child has ADHD.
What are the appropriate steps that must be taken to let parents know why their child does pay attention well, does not concentrate, or moves a lot?
When parents have a child with behavioral difficulties it is important to take the following steps:
– Medical examination.
– Consult a psychologist for children and adolescents.
– Go to a specialized center and request an assessment that includes feedback from the teacher at school (often by completing a form).
– Follow the advice and recommendations provided by the psychologist.
Useful references :
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Does your child really have ADHD? 17 things to rule out first. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/does-your-child-really-have-adhd-17-things-to-rule-out-first/2/
How Anxiety masks ADHD. (n.d.) Retrieved from:www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxc_mVVxzjE
Misdiagnosis: Conditions That Mimic ADHD. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-misdiagnosis#bipolar-disorder