Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects millions of children all around the world. Statistically, ADHD is more prevalent in developed countries, with the United States having the highest number of diagnosed cases.
While nearly all experts agree that children are born with ADHD, the typical behavioral traits of ADHD usually only become apparent once kids reach school-going age. Prior to this, many parents don’t often notice anything unusual regarding their child’s behavior. The three behavioral problems caused by ADHD are:
It is important for parents and teachers to remember that a difference between add adhd child might or might not exhibit all three behavioral problems. In many instances, a child may only have difficulty paying attention in class – They are not impulsive and they’re not hyperactive. This form of ADHD is known as ADHD-PI (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – Predominantly Inattentive).
Up until 1994, this type of ADHD was officially known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). However, when the new DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition) was published in 1994 the term had officially been changed to ADHD-PI.
Children with this form of ADHD can be somewhat hyperactive, but not to a point where it becomes a problem. Instead, these children will very often display other behavioral traits which can range from mild to severe. These include:
Diagnosis And Prevalence Of ADHD
Testing for ADHD typically involves filling out a questionnaire pertaining to a child’s behavior, and this is then followed up with a one on one interview with the child in question, and also an interview with the child’s parents. Many psychiatrists and pediatricians are nowadays also making use of a procedure known as a BFA (Brain Function Assessment). This allows them to record and analyze actual brainwave activity.
Interestingly, different countries have different criteria for diagnosing ADHD. In the United Kingdom for example, inattentiveness alone would not see a child being diagnosed with ADHD. In the United States on the other hand, if inattentiveness is deemed to be interfering with a child’s schooling, that child might well be diagnosed with the disorder.
According to the latest statistics, less than 1% of children living in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with ADHD, while around 10% of American children are currently being treated for the disorder. Mental health experts believe that ADHD affects 1 to 5% of the world’s population, but of course this is open for debate.
Treating Children With ADHD
Most children that are diagnosed with ADHD or any one of its variants are treated with amphetamine-like stimulant drugs. While these drugs have undeniably helped countless children, they are also very controversial due to their possible side effects. They have also been linked to numerous deaths, with a number of deaths being the result of suicide.