May 29, 2024 12:00 pm

Describe ADHD.

In youngsters, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses. ADHD symptoms include impulsivity (hurried, thoughtless actions that happen in the present), hyperactivity (excessive movement that is inappropriate for the situation), and inattention (inability to maintain concentration). According to Harpin (2005), ADHD is seen as a chronic and crippling condition that affects a person’s ability to operate on a daily basis, build interpersonal connections, and attain academic and professional goals. When left untreated, ADHD can cause youngsters to have low self-esteem and difficulty interacting with others (Harpin et al., 2016). Adults diagnosed with ADHD may have low self-esteem, heightened sensitivity to criticism, and more self-criticism, which may be a result of experiencing higher amounts of criticism all their lives (Beaton, et al., 2022). It should be noted that while this article focuses on children, adult ADHD presentation and assessment varies.

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According to estimates (Danielson, 2018; Simon et al., 2009), 2.5% of adults and 8.4% of children suffer with ADHD. When ADHD causes disruptions in the classroom or difficulties with homework, it is frequently initially detected in children of school age. Because the symptoms manifest differently in boys compared to girls, boys receive a diagnosis more frequently. It does not follow, however, that guys are more prone to develop ADHD. Girls often appear with passivity, whereas boys typically exhibit hyperactivity and other externalizing characteristics.

Significance and Prognosis

Many kids could find it difficult to focus, wait their time, be patient, be fidgety, and behave impulsively. The symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, organization, and/or inattention in children who fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, however, are notably more severe than would be predicted for their age or developmental stage. Significant pain results from these symptoms, which also cause issues in relationships, at work or school, and at home. It is not the case that the symptoms are the consequence of a person being obstinate or incapable of following directions or tasks.

Three primary forms of ADHD exist:

presentation that was mostly inattentive.

Mostly impulsive and energetic in behavior.

Combined show.

The basis for a diagnosis is the existence of enduring symptoms that have developed over time and become apparent during the previous six months. Although it can be identified at any age, ADHD is first identified in children. The diagnosis can only be made if the patient’s symptoms have existed before the age of 12 and have created problems in many settings. For example, the symptoms are not limited to what happens at home.

The Reasons Behind ADHD

Researchers are still working to pinpoint the exact causes of ADHD. Although a number of genes have been connected to ADHD and there is mounting evidence that heredity plays a role in the illness, no one gene or combination of genes has been found to be the primary cause of ADHD. It’s crucial to remember, though, that family of those who have ADHD frequently have the same problems. There is proof that children with ADHD have brains that are anatomically different from those of children without the disorder. For example, children with ADHD show distinct brain area activity during certain activities and have lower volume of both grey and white brain matter (Pliszka, 2007). According to additional research, ADHD affects the brain’s frontal lobes, caudate nucleus, and cerebellar vermis (Tripp & Wickens, 2009). The condition has also been related to a number of non-genetic variables, including low birth weight, early delivery, exposure to toxins (smoke, alcohol, lead, etc.) during pregnancy, and high levels of stress.

Medication

The typical course of treatment for ADHD consists of both medication and therapy. The suggested first-line strategy for preschool-aged and younger kids consists of behavioral techniques including parent management education and school intervention. An effective therapeutic approach for young children with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder is parent-child interaction therapy, or PCIT.

Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate and amphetamines, are the first-line pharmaceutical therapies for ADHD, according to current guidelines (Pliszka, 2007). Amphetamines are the sole FDA-approved treatment for ADHD in preschool-aged kids; however, recommendations suggest that methylphenidate, not amphetamines, may be useful if behavioral treatments are not successful. The other FDA-approved treatments for ADHD include atomoxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and alpha agonists like clonidine and guanfacine. Xelstrym (dextroamphetamine), an amphetamine patch; Qelbree (viloxazine), a non-stimulant; Adhansia (methylphenidate hydrochloride); Dyanavel (amphetamine extended-release oral suspension); Mydayis (mixed salts amphetamine product); and Cotempla (methylphenidate extended-release orally disintegrating tablets) are some of the more recent FDA-approved medications for the treatment of ADHD.

Depending on the effectiveness of the therapy and the acceptability of the medicine, many children and families might switch between different pharmaceutical alternatives. Improving symptoms is the aim of treatment in order to resume functioning at home and at school.

ADHD in Children at School

In addition to helping with behavioral training, teachers and school personnel may give parents and physicians information to help assess behavior and learning issues. Nonetheless, teachers are not allowed to identify ADHD, prescribe a course of treatment, or insist that a pupil take medication in order to attend class. In consultation with the child’s healthcare provider, only parents and guardians may make such choices.

Students with ADHD who struggle academically may be eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or, in the case of non-special education children, a Section 504 plan under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Students with ADHD might benefit from curriculum modifications, alternative teaching methods, classroom arrangement adjustments, and study skills education.

ADHD in Adults

Many children who get an ADHD diagnosis may go on to satisfy the criteria for the condition as adults and may have deficits that call for continued care (Pliszka, 2007). Nonetheless, in childhood, an ADHD diagnosis may go unnoticed. Many individuals who suffer with ADHD are unaware that they have the condition. A thorough evaluation usually consists of an assessment of previous and present symptoms, a history and physical examination, and the use of adult rating scales or checklists. Treatment options for adults with ADHD include medication, psychotherapy, or a mix of the two. Support from close family members as well as behavior control techniques like reducing distractions and increasing structure and order can be beneficial.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ADHD is a protected impairment. This implies that organizations that receive government financing are prohibited from treating people with impairments unfairly. Under the ADA, those with ADHD symptoms who interfere at work may be eligible for reasonable work accommodations.