WHAT IS ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders among children, affecting an estimated 3 to 5 percent of the population aged 0 to 14 years in the Philippines. Persons with ADHD suffer from a condition characterized by age-inappropriate hyperactivity, impulsivity, or poor attention span. Symptoms often are severe enough to cause impairments in academic and social functioning. In many cases, this leads to self-esteem, very poor academic performance and serious behavioural problems. Many children with the disorder will continue to have symptoms in adulthood, although the hyperactivity tends to decrease with age. ADHD affects not only the patient, but also those involved in the patient’s life.

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WHAT CAUSES ADHD?

The cause of ADHD is still unknown. However, majority of the researchers suggest neurological basis. Children with ADHD have problems with chemicals that send messages to the brain. A lower level of activity in the parts of the brain that control attention and activity level may be associated with ADHD. Researches also show that ADHD is hereditary, thus, it tends to run in families. Relatives of children with ADHD, both male and female, are more likely to have the disorder than the general population.

DO YOU SUSPECT YOUR CHILD HAS ADHD?

If your child has six (6) or more symptoms given below, you might want to visit a doctor. Remember: The earlier you get a diagnosis, the more time you’ll get to manage it

INATTENTION

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention
  • Does not appear to listen
  • Struggles to follow throughon instructions
  • Has difficulty with organization
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Is easily distracted
  • Is forgetful in daily activities

HYPERACTIVITY

  • Fidgets with hands or feet, or squirms in chair
  • Has difficulty remaining seated
  • Runs about or climbs excessively
  • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly
  • Acts as if driven by a motor
  • Talks excessively

IMPULSIVITY

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns
  • Interrupts or intrudes upon others