Understanding and Managing ADHD in Children, Teens

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (commonly known as ADHD) is defined by PubMed as “a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination.” It affects children, adolescents, and teenagers, but it is usually diagnosed in childhood.

An earlier diagnosis can be beneficial. This is because it allows the child and the parents to learn to deal with the disorder sooner and to adopt preventive strategies.

In an article called “ADHD Nation,” Linda Bernstein provides information for parents who want to know more about the disorder and how they can help their children.

What Causes ADHD?

Bernstein cites a doctor’s description of ADHD as “a biological disorder characterized by significant difficulty with attention span.”

She explains that some medical specialists support the theory that ADHD is genetic, which is why the condition is often seen in multiple members of the same family.

How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

One of the main problems related to treating ADHD is the lack of a standard screening method. There’s no guaranteed, scientific test for ADHD, so parents aren’t always willing to believe their child has a medical condition.

Bernstein also mentions that ADHD is more difficult to diagnose or recognize when it is accompanied by another disorder such as a learning disability.

Another potential reason it can take longer for your child to be diagnosed with ADHD is if he or she has found ways to compensate for the inattention and distraction. According to the article, very intelligent children can mask symptoms of ADHD by catching on to what is being taught with minimal attention being paid to the teacher.

Myths about ADHD

Some claim that diet may affect symptoms and severity of ADHD. High amounts of sugar, in particular, have been blamed for hyperactivity in children with ADHD. while excess amounts of sugar are not recommended for any child’s diet, research has consistently shown that sugar does not cause ADHD or exacerbate the condition.

Another false belief people have is that a child who has difficulty paying attention necessarily has ADHD. As mentioned before, other conditions in a child can seem like ADHD. Bernstein uses the example of a child who seems to be inattentive to instructions or activities. One might assume he or she has ADHD, but it could just be a lack of sleep or a problem with vision or hearing.

Helpful Strategies for Dealing with ADHD

From a 14-year-old boy with ADHD, Bernstein gathered a list of simple tips to make it easier to handle the condition. She recommends the following: encouraging your child to take breaks while completing a task, getting tutoring for your child, and reminding your child of school-related information such as due dates.

Parental support is crucial for a child or teen with ADHD, so there’s a lot you can do to help your son or daughter.