Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – the most common behavioural disorder in the UK. So, how do we spot the difference between an energetic child, and one with ADHD?
You may wonder why I chose to research ADHD; in school there is always that person who finds the energy to run around and be bubbly whilst everyone else is dead from pulling an all-nighter in trying to complete homework on time. The child, who you may think is a “loser” for always seeming so enthusiastic in lessons, may just have ADHD…
ADHD causes people to have a reduced attention span, meaning they are very easily distracted. A sufferer of ADHD finds it hard to control their behaviour due to impulsivity.
There are many theories as to what causes ADHD, so here are just a few. Some experts say it is due to an imbalance of chemicals that transmit messages to the brain and partly due to the areas of the brain that affect behaviour in the ADHD sufferer are not properly working. Recent studies have shown that 80-90% of the risk for ADHD is genetic. Who knows what exactly causes ADHD in a person though? – Honestly, no one. Brain research shows a variety of different problems in ADHD, with individuals showing their own pattern of behaviour – perhaps explaining why there is no set cause or any known cure for the disorder.
Being diagnosed with ADHD means the child must have symptoms such as the ones previously mentioned and medication can be taken to help the child concentrate and be less troublesome. Of course, age restrictions and severity of the disorder are considered (doctors won’t just let some child go wild on drugs when the child could just be having a sugar high). An example of a prescribed drug is Ritalin, which improves a child’s capability to focus (perhaps something all of us need once in a while). It helps some children more than others and, like most drugs, has potential side effects.
ADHD can be a life long condition. However, a child having ADHD is not the end of the world. A child with ADHD can be charismatic, dynamic, enthusiastic and creative – they are capable of anything just like any other child. Michelangelo once said “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”