What is ADHD?

One in ten children between 5-17 years old is diagnosed with ADHD. This makes the condition among the most prevalent childhood neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States. 

For children, the condition is often associated with problems at school. For example, they usually have trouble adjusting, interacting, or succeeding in a classroom with a controlled setting. 

The Central for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) states that boys are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. This can be due to boys exhibiting hyperactivity’s hallmark symptoms. However, some girls diagnosed with ADHD may show classic hyperactivity symptoms while others don’t. In most cases, girls with ADHD daydream frequently and become hyperactive instead of being hyperactive. 

Most symptoms are childhood behaviors. This means it is hard to determine what is associated with ADHD or what is not. As a parent of a child with ADHD, you want to know everything about his/her condition and how you can help him/her. So, keep reading and get more familiar with ADHD.

ADHD Overview

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that makes it difficult for children to concentrate, follow directions, pay attention, control impulsive behavior, and sit still. Children with this condition are more restless, distractible, and oblivious to their parents’ or teachers’ instructions than other young children.

ADHD is NOT a learning disability, a behavior disorder, a mental illness; it is the developmental impairment of the brain’s self-management system. The symptoms vary by individuals. Some kids may experience all the symptoms, while others don’t.

Types of ADHD

ADHD comes in three different types:

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation 

Individuals with this ADHD type find it hard to organize or complete a task, follow conversations or instructions, or pay attention to details. They easily forget the daily routine details or get distracted.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation 

Kids diagnosed with this type of ADHD talk a lot and fidget. It is hard for them to sit still for a long time. Smaller children may climb, jump, or run constantly. They have trouble with impulsivity and feel restless.

Combined Presentation 

The symptoms of the above two ADHD types are present in one person.

Common ADHD Symptoms 

ADHD is associated with a wide range of behaviors. Below are some of the common symptoms:

  • Interrupting people when they are talking 
  • Having difficulty sitting still
  • Getting distracted easily 
  • Forgetting to complete tasks 
  • Having trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks 

 If your kids are showing the signs and symptoms of ADHD, whether you are a teacher, a parent, or a therapist, consider buying the Responsive Equine Simulator Therapy (REST) chair: REST by GAIT. Buy it here!

Signs of ADHD 

Children with ADHD may experience signs from one, two, or even all of the categories below:

Trouble focusing

Young children who easily get distracted or are inattentive have trouble staying on task, concentrating, or focusing their attention. They may not complete what they have started, miss important details, and not listen well to the instructions. In addition, they may dawdle or daydream too much and seem forgetful or absent-minded, and lose track of their things.

Impulsive behavior

Children who are impulsive may act too quickly before thinking and often find it hard to wait. They often grab or push and interrupt. Even without permission, they do things. So, they take something they don’t own. They may have too intense emotional reactions to the situation.

Hyperactive behavior 

Hyperactivity is another sign of ADHD. Kids with this ADHD sign are restless, fidgety, and easily get bored. These kids may have trouble staying quiet or sitting still when needed. They may roughhouse, jump, or climb when they should not. They make careless mistakes or rush through things.

Causes of ADHD 

Although ADHD is a common condition, researchers and doctors are still unsure about the causes of the condition. Besides the neurological origins, other factors may come into play, like genetics. 

According to research, dopamine reduction is a factor in ADHD, a chemical found in the brain that moves signals from one nerve to another. This chemical also triggers emotional responses. 

Another research suggests that the brains’ structural difference can also cause ADHD. Findings show that individuals with ADHD have a few gray matter volumes. This gray matter includes the brain areas that involve speech, muscle control, decision-making, and self-control.

In addition to the above findings, researchers are studying other potential risk factors and causes, including low birth weight, premature delivery, and tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy.

ADHD Diagnosis 

The doctor will collect information from several people who have observed the kids, including the parents, teachers, or caregivers. Parents and teachers will fill out a rating scale like Connor’s Checklist, the Child Behavior Checklist, or SNAP to capture the frequency of the symptoms’ accurate assessment over a period of time.

Kids may be given a Continuous Performance Test that rates their ability to finish a repetitive task over a period of time. The test also delivers a bigger picture of their ADHD symptoms. However, beware that children should not be diagnosed based on the parents’ or teachers’ report that they are overly distracted or active.

ADHD Treatment 

Medication, behavioral therapies, or both are the typical ADHD treatment. Types of therapies include talk therapy or psychotherapy. With talk therapy, the patients will discuss how the condition affects their lives and ways to manage it.

Behavioral therapy is another therapy that parents can try for their children. The therapy will help the patients learn how to manage or monitor their behavior.

Besides the therapies, medication is also helpful for an individual with ADHD. The medications affect the brain chemicals that enable the patients to control their actions and impulses better. 

Two types of medications are used to treat the condition: stimulants and non-stimulants. The most common ADHD medication prescribed is the central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. These drugs help increase the brain’s chemical norepinephrine and dopamine amounts. Amphetamine-based stimulants and methylphenidate are examples of these drugs.

If stimulants are not effective for the patient or experience severe side effects, the doctor will suggest non-stimulant medications. These drugs help increase the norepinephrine levels in the brain.

One stimulant and treatment that parents and teachers should consider is the Responsive Equine Simulator Therapy (REST) chair. REST by GAIT provides children with ADHD a chance to receive the benefits of horse therapy in the comfort of their homes. 

Conclusion 

Taking care of children with conditions like ADHD can be a challenge for parents or teachers at first. However, if you have enough knowledge and understanding of the condition, helping your kids is a lot easier. Plus, medications, therapies, and support are a great help. 

REST: Because it works

It’s time to put REST into your life. And take advantage of all of the benefits equine motion has to offer any time, any place. At Gait, we firmly believe it will be a powerful, rewarding, and effective tool for helping treat your special needs child, children, or adult.

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