What is ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition characterized by
> Excessive Restlessness
> Inattentive Behavior
ADHD is more common in boys than girls. It is estimated that around 2% to 5% of school-aged children may have the condition but these statistics can be higher based on geographical differences.
Children with ADHD act without thinking, are usually hyperactive and have trouble focusing. Although they may understand
what is expected of them at school or at home they have trouble following through because they simply can't sit still, pay attention, or focus on details.
These symptoms are usually observed during childhood but can continue through adolescence and adulthood if not managed properly.
The level of inattentiveness and hyperactivity in these children is usually a lot more than the normal level of energy found in other children of the same age.
Without proper support, understanding and awareness managing these children can be difficult and often a very frustrating task for their parents and educators.
However, children with ADHD have a unique skill set with high levels of creativity, energy and a brain that likes to be ahead of ‘establishment thinking’.
Hence with proper support and encouragement, they have the ability to become extremely successful in many spheres of life.
What causes ADHD
The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood and a combination of multiple factors is thought to be responsible.
ADHD tends to run in families and usually, it is thought that the genes inherited from your parents are a strong contributing factor in developing the condition.
Research also shows that both parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are four to five times more likely to have ADHD themselves. However, the way ADHD is inherited is likely to be highly complex and cannot be linked to single or multiple genetic factors.
Brain function and structure
With advances in medical imaging, research has further identified that a number of possible differences in the structure of brains of people with ADHD compared to those who don't have the condition.
Studies involving brain scans have suggested that certain sections of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger although the exact significance of these is not very clear.
Research has also shown that the brain may take an average of two to three years longer to mature in children with ADHD compared to children who don't have the condition.
Some studies have also suggested that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, or that these chemicals may not work properly
Some other possible causes
> Being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy)
> Having a low birth weight
> Brain damage either in the womb or in the first few years of life
> Drinking alcohol, smoking or misusing drugs while pregnant
> Exposure to high levels of toxic lead at a young age
It must be noted that the evidence for many of the factors mentioned above is at present inconclusive and it is an area of continuing research to determine if they contribute to ADHD.