Commonly asked questions about ADHD/ADD
By Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP, Certified ADHD Coach
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is typically diagnosed in childhood and lasts in adulthood. Many with ADHD may face trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behavior, or be overly active. Many studies show that ADHD may affect certain areas of the brain that allow us to solve problems, plan, understand others, and control our impulses. According to NIMH (USA), ADHD occurs in an estimated 3 to 5 percent of preschool and school age children.
Common Question and Answers:
Q.1. What causes ADHD/ADD?
A. The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood, although a combination of factors is thought to be responsible. ADHD tends to run in families and, typically, it is believed that the genes you inherit from parents play a role in the development of the condition. Apart from that, several different factors could increase the likelihood of having this disorder, such as gender, prenatal risks, environmental toxins, and physical differences in the brain.
ADHD and ADD are often used synonymously. The diagnosis name has changed and ADHD is often used to explain many types of ADHD, even inattentive.
Q.2. What are the types of ADHD?
A. The most common type of ADHD is when people have difficulty with both paying attention and hyperactivity. This is known as ADHD combined type. Some people only have difficulty with attention and organization. This is ADHD inattentive subtype or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Other people have mixed symptoms.
Q.3. What are the common signs and symptoms of ADHD?
A. The three main categories of symptoms are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Inattention includes signs such as a short attention span, difficulty listening to others or attending the details, easily distracted and forgetfulness. Signs for impulsivity are that people with this condition often interrupt others, face difficulty waiting for their turn, speak often without turn, and take frequent risks or act without thinking. Signs for hyperactivity are that they are seemingly in constant motion, fidget their hands or fingers, talk excessively, and inability to stay on task and often shifting to another without completion. Executive functioning challenges exist.
Q.4. What is the common age of diagnosis for ADHD?
A. Most cases of ADHD are diagnosed when children are 3 to 7 years old, but sometimes it's diagnosed later in childhood. Symptoms tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school. Executive functioning challenges occur throughout the lifetime.
Q.5. What are the types of treatment for ADHD?
A. After careful and thorough examination by a professional doctor, they may use medication or therapy or both to take care of the condition. Medications do not cure the condition, rather they help children control their symptoms by taking pills. The two types of medications are stimulant and non-stimulant. Many children benefit from medication. Therapy can be used for positive reinforcement and help children with self-image.
Q.6. What are the consequences of untreated ADHD?
A. Without treatment, people with ADHD may have trouble with social and personal relationships and falling behind in studies. Parent-child relationships can be strained. People with untreated ADHD are at more risk of accidents, divorce and unemployment as compared to the public. There are ways to help with executive functioning.
Q.7. How can I help?
A. You can help by observing and identifying the signs of ADHD in children and assist them in getting professional medical help. Furthermore, being patient, giving more breaks, limiting distractions in the environment, helping organize, and positive reinforcement are effective ways to help people with ADHD.
Coaching can help with planning and organizing. www.lorimelnitsky.com, Lori@allislandspeech.com
Q. 8 What is Executive Functioning?
A. Executive functions are a set of cognitive functions and mental skills that help people plan, monitor, focus attention, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, control impulses and juggle our tasks in life.