ADD means attention deficit disorder which now a day is covered in a broader term namely ADHD i.e. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is one of the most common psychiatric problems of childhood.
Almost 15% of primary school children were found to be having ADHD in India, a study states. The ratio between the male and female children was 3:1. It also States that the occurrence of ADHD is more common in boys than in girls.
We can suspect that the child is suffering from ADHD if he has following symptoms: Mostly the parents come to the doctors with complaints of the child being inattentive, hyper active and impulsive. The child is easily distracted, has poor performance in academics, reading difficulty, is forgetful even in the daily activities, writing difficulty, inability to sit at one place for a long duration of time, or fidgety in nature. They can also have symptoms like excessive talking, cannot wait for their turn for any activity, always on the go type behaviour.
These kids perform poorly in schools. The problem also tends to grow with them in the adulthood. Many report that the hyperactivity does go away with the age; the attention deficit problem accompanies them in the adulthood.
If your kid is having the above described symptoms for a period of more than 6 months, it is the time to consult a child psychiatrist.
The definite cause of ADHD is not known. Generally it is genetic. I.e. it runs in the family. It is also theorised that kids having a low birth weight, premature births and trauma at the time of birth can suffer from ADHD in their childhood.
There is not a single definitive test to diagnose ADHD. If above given symptoms are present in the kid for more than 6 months and in two different settings i.e. at school and at home, then the child is said to be suffering from ADHD. The doctors and the psychologists gather the information about the child from the parents, car givers and school teachers to make an affirmative diagnosis. Some scales are used to rate the kid in comparison with other kids of his age.
The ADHD can be treated with medications and cognitive behavioural therapy. These different medications stimulate the brain of the child in a positive light. Also changing the environment of the child in home and school in a good manner also improves his ADHD symptoms. There are various parent management training programs which help the parents to deal with kids having ADHD. The treatment with medications gives results as long as the child is consuming the medicine, although they are a very important part of the whole treatment.
ADHD can continue in the adulthood also. It often results in inability to stick to a job, having hard time keeping up a relationship, not able to be organised. If you think you have ADHD symptoms, contact your doctor to seek help.