Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD, AD/HD, or ADD) is an issue that affects many Americans today. Affecting thousands of children each year, this psychological ailment is best described as the manifestation of hyperactivity and the inability to focus one’s attention on a simple task. However, many parents tend to be skeptic about labeling their children with ADHD, as they argue that their respective situations may just be simple cases of juvenile misbehavior.
(Disclaimer: This article was written for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be regarded as professional medical advice. For the most accurate information, please consult a duly-licensed medical professional.)
So when is ADHD present and is it not?
ADHD is defined as the presence of hyperactivity and the lack of focus. Moreover, for a child to be potentially ADHD-positive, both behaviors should manifest simultaneously. That is, the child should not be simply hyperactive or simply lacking focus. If the either is true, then it’s just misbehavior in the first place.
So how do we define the concept of “inattentiveness” and “hyperactivity”?
To decisively answer this question, let’s refer to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (APA DSM-IV-TR).
Inattentiveness in children can be characterized as the lingering tendency to:
1. Lack focus on the specifics of homework and other activities.
2. Have an extremely short attention span
3. Refuse to listen when someone speaks
4. Refuse to follow guidelines and accomplish school-related tasks
5. Shy away from leadership roles
6. Dislike mentally-challenging activities
7. Misplace belongings
8. Be easily distracted by the simplest stimuli
9. Be forgetful.
The above mentioned set of criteria applies only on the assumption that a child does not suffer from any other learning disability. For example, the first criterion may be caused by dyslexia and not inattention.
On the other hand, hyperactivity may be present when the child tends to:
1. Moves about despite being expected to stay in place, despite being inappropriate
2. Plays with fingers, taps with feet, and does other random movements for no reason
3. Be unable to effectively partake on activities in a quiet manner
4. Be extremely talkative
5. Feel an incessant need to move
6. Dislike waiting for someone else to finish talking
7. Like interrupting other people even if it is not yet their turn
8. Be excessively nosy about other children’s affairs.
If your child manifests most of these symptoms, then it might be a good time to consult a physician immediately. Note, however, that children who do manifest these signs may actually be suffering from some other malady such as Mood or Anxiety Disorders. Nevertheless, consulting a professional may be the best step to take.
But I think he’s just misbehaving. What do I do?
Discounting ADHD and other mind-related ailments, a child’s tendency to be rowdy or inattentive often arises from being continually exposed to an environment where they do not feel belongingness. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that you spend valuable time with your children can grow up into the best persons they can be.
What do you feel about children being prescribed with psychiatric medication at such an early age?
Your responses will be greatly appreciated.
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