ADHD Symptoms & Causes
LISTEN TO DR.PAUL DESCRIBE ADHD AND ADD:
ADHD practically always appears before the age of 7, and usually before the age of 4. Boys are diagnosed with ADHD about three times more often than girls. Typical symptoms of untreated ADHD include:
- Impulsive behavior - In other words the child rarely looks before he leaps.
- Attention deficit - The child often has difficulty staying focused on one activity.
- Hyperactivity - The child is often excessively active or restless.
For a diagnosis of ADHD to be made, symptoms of inattention, impulsiveness and/or hyperactivity must have persisted for at least six months, to a degree inappropriate for the child's age. These symptoms must have been present in the child before the age of seven, and must be consistently demonstrated in at least two settings, such as both at home and school. Symptoms must also be severe enough to be significantly impairing the child's social and academic functioning.
What causes ADHD is not precisely understood. But results from some studies suggest that a small percentage of ADHD children may have suffered subtle brain damage due to complications during pregnancy or delivery, or from head injury or illness. However, it's believed that in a majority of cases, certain chemical conditions in the child's brain are genetically inherited. Interestingly, many parents recall having had a lot of the same symptoms as those exhibited by their ADHD child.