ADHD In Children: Introduction

ADHD In Children | Do You Think Your Child Is Lazy? ADHD Can Manifest In Many Ways

ADHD in children: Understand environmental triggers, different types of ADHD, impact on cognitive aspects, laziness misconceptions

ADHD in children: Attention deficit disorder ADHD has become more prominent in the last two decades, though it has been recorded in medical journals since 1901.

It has been called many names and its medical and physical roots are still not completely clear. However, we do know that it is a highly genetic disorder which is strongly influenced by environmental triggers.

Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the ADHD in children video below. It spells out how ADHD can manifest in many ways at Singhania Clinic. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:

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ADHD in children: Environmental triggers

There are many ways that ADHD can be triggered in your child. Some are:

1. Mercury exposure in the mother’s womb
2. Lead exposure in early life
3. Zinc and iron deficiency
4. Early psycho-social stresses

ADHD has become one of the most common disorders of childhood.

ADHD in children: Different presentations

ADHD or ADD is a complex disorder which can show itself in many different ways. Your child may show problems in:

  • Academics
  • Behavior
  • Emotional Regulation

Here two cases are presented to you to demonstrate my point.

ADHD: Case A

Reem, a 15-year-old girl was doing very well academically till a few years ago.
She was an intelligent child but had been a chatterbox in her class and was slow to complete her tasks. Her mother imposed a strict routine on her to help her through her daily chores.

As she entered high school she became increasingly tardy. With a change in her country of residence and school, she deteriorated academically. Her grades slipped from As to Bs and finally to Cs.

At home, she became moody, irritable and spent hours in front of her computer. Her teachers complained about incomplete assignments. Reem withdrew socially and barely had friends.

ADHD: Case B

Amit was a very sociable 5-year old who could not it still. He was somewhat late to talk and was fluent in his mother tongue only after the age of 4 years. He still had problems speaking English.

Amit was very restless in class and tended to be aggressive with his peers. He ran around the classroom and was very disruptive.

He was late to pick up the alphabet though he knew his numbers. He disliked holding the pencil and just scribbled on the paper.

Both of these children show signs and symptoms of ADHD/ADD. One could wonder how these two very disparate children could hold the same diagnosis.

These cases show you that ADHD/ ADD is a chameleon disorder that can present in very different ways. Your child may be a very shy, day dreamer who is like a wallflower in a classroom or he or she may be a loud, boisterous, restless child who is disruptive.

Your child may or may not have academic problems. They may or may not have behaviour problems. In fact, most children with ADHD/ADD are not hyperactive.

ADHD In Children | Do You Think Your Child Is Lazy? ADHD Can Manifest In Many Ways

ADHD In Children

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ADHD in children: Cognitive aspects

The cognitive aspects of ADD can be missed in absence of overt behavioural issues.
It is the cognitive aspect that may impact your child, if not in elementary school, it may present later in High school or University.

Your child may have difficulty paying attention to things he or she is not interested in. So, your child may focus well on computer games but have problems with more didactic work that is more complex and is painstaking and tedious.

What must be remembered is that it is not because the child is not trying or is incapable.

Slow processing time and weak working memory are two problems that your child may have. Working memory is not memory but is the mind’s ability to hold information short-term to work on it like numbers in mental maths or a series of instructions.

Slow processing does not mean low intelligence. It mainly affects the ability to quickly and accurately process simple information. These two skills impact academic work more than intelligence.

Your child’s handwriting may also be affected. Writing requires attention, organisation and good fine motor control. Many children with ADHD/ADD have messy untidy writing.

What is confusing for you as a teacher or parent might be, that if your child ’wants to’ they can write well. It is only when they are writing in class or exams they become untidy. To write for prolonged periods of time or under stress requires more use of the working memory and other executive functions.

Your child may also have great difficulty copying from the board.

Disorganization is one major problem that affects many areas of an attention deficit disordered ADHD /ADD child’s life. Messy rooms, untidy lockers, school bags, and closets are just part of the picture.

Disorganization impacts formulating answers, writing essays and writing notes.
Often their work is hasty and careless or too slow as the child wastes time on unnecessary aspects of their work like underlining titles in different colors.

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ADHD in children: Willpower

Having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD /ADD) does not mean your child is lazy, lacks willpower or is not intelligent.

Many very intelligent children fail to achieve their potential. Like Reem, they may do well in elementary school but start struggling in High School.

Your child gives up as work becomes more complex and involves juggling different subjects, going to different classrooms and writing long assignments, because they know they aren’t reaching their potential, but often don’t understand why.

Your child may be scolded, punished and criticized for something that is beyond their control. He or she may end up becoming moody, depressed or defiant and oppositional.
You as parents and teachers may struggle to comprehend how your children with such potential seem to be willfully wrecking their own lives.

Often these children are mistaken for lazy or unintelligent. Understanding of this multifaceted but common disorder is the key. It requires patience, knowledge, and fortitude both from families and schools.

We will help you become familiar with this disorder. You should have a strong index of suspicion if your child is struggling or misbehaving at school. Early intervention can change your child’s life.

ADHD In Children | Do You Think Your Child Is Lazy? ADHD Can Manifest In Many Ways

ADHD In Children

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ADHD In Children: Introduction was last modified: March 2nd, 2017 by Wilma Gervacio

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