10 Facts About ADD/ADHD
1: ADHD is not a psychiatric disorder. It has been classified as a neurobehavioral disorder that can be treated with a combination of behavior therapy, exercise, nutrition and medication.
2: There are three types of ADHD diagnosis for a range of symptoms: 1) Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive type, 2) Predominately Inattentive Type, 3) Combination, both inattentiveness and hyperactive-impulsive behavior are present.
3: Although ADHD’s causes are still being discovered, there is a theory that it can run in families.
4: The majority of children diagnosed with ADHD also are found to have other developmental or behavioral problems, or a psychiatric issue such as depression or bipolar disorder.
5: ADHD symptoms have been confused with other issues such as depression, lack of sleep, learning disabilities, tics and others. A diagnosis should be made by a qualified professional, who is knowledgeable about the condition.
6: ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. Some experts put the number as high as 10% with others positing 3-5%.
7: ADHD is diagnosed in higher numbers for boys than girls. In some areas of the US, researchers put the ratio as high as 3 to 1.
8: ADHD is not “brain damage”. Research has gone into a hypothesis that neurotransmitters in the brain are either not transmitting properly, are lacking (such as norepineprhine, dopamine and serotonin) or that there is a reduced blood flow to areas of the brain concerned with cognitive thinking.
9: ADHD is not “A Stage” in a child’s development. Symptoms can be detected in early childhood and, with an effective treatment plan, managed throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Some adults with ADHD find a career path that can accommodate their symptoms and others may struggle their entire lives with the challenges that ADHD presents.
10: Medication is a valid approach to treating ADHD. Many parents have heard horror stories about a child diagnosed with ADHD being turned into a “zombie” by drugs used to treat the condition. However, medications such as Adderall, Vyvance and Concerta have been highly effective in 75-90% of the children taking them. Other drugs such as Ritalin and Dexedrine have shorter time-spans of effectiveness and can wear off before school is out. Medication is not the only answer to the challenges of ADHD, but it can be a great help when used along with other forms of therapy.