ADHD and Child Development

Children with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity face many difficulties as they grow up. As infants, those later diagnosed with ADHD are often described to have been excitable, irritable, colicky, or un-soothable. Often they are very physically active, easily distracted, and can be extremely sensitive to sights, sounds and touch, which can make traditional soothing methods seem ineffective.

In the toddler years, ADHD children often have a hard time dealing with frustration and so they tend to be overly emotional when their desires aren’t met or when they experience failure. It’s also common for the child’s sleep patterns to be upset.

By preschool age, children with improperly treated ADHD appear excessively active, inattentive, emotional and/or impulsive. Such behaviour often provokes negative feedback from parents, care-givers, siblings and peers, just at a time when the child’s self-image is taking shape. These children are often reprimanded for not trying hard enough, even though they often feel that they can’t help themselves – which eventually fosters a negative self-image.

With the beginning of school, the ADHD child’s difficulties often become more apparent. Difficulty concentrating and sitting still usually cause the child to lag behind his peers. Grades fall as the child develops a reputation for being either disruptive or withdrawn in class, while also possibly having trouble maintaining friendships.

Fortunately many of these problems can now be avoided through a combination of professional diagnosis, appropriate teaching methods, adapted parenting strategies, and an array of effective medications.

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.