ADHD is a very common neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in children. Children with ADHD usually have a difficult time paying attention and may be overactive. It often lasts into adulthood.
What causes ADHD?
The causes of ADHD are not known, although scientists are currently studying the disorder to help prevent and treat it. However, research shows that ADHD is linked to genetics. Other possible causes include:
- Brain injury
- Environmental exposures, such as lead
- Alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
Science does not support popularly believed causes such as eating too much sugar, watching too much television, or parenting styles. While these may affect how a child with ADHD behaves, they are not main causes.
What are the types of ADHD?
There are three types of ADHD. Symptoms and presentation may change over time.
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: A person with predominantly inattentive presentation may have a difficult time finishing a task, paying attention to details, or following instructions or conversation. They may become easily distracted or have difficulty completing daily routines.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: A person with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation may talk a lot and have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time. They may be constantly restless or impulsive. They may interrupt people or talk at inappropriate times. They may be accident-prone and have trouble following directions.
- Combined Presentation: A person with combined presentation has equal amounts of the symptoms listed above.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Diagnosing a person with ADHD is a several step process. Symptoms can be similar to illnesses such as anxiety or depression, so it can be difficult to treat. A medical exam is usually the first step to diagnoses followed by checking for ADHD symptoms as well as medical and family history.
How is ADHD treated?
ADHD is usually treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Treatment will depend on the age of the child as well as their behavior.
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