Uncovering the Truth of ADHD

According to the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 6.4 million children suffering from ADHD or ADD in the United States alone. Around the world, ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is the most prevalent disorder in children. Keep reading to learn more about this extremely prevalent condition and how you can help yourself or your child.

TYPES OF ADHD

There are currently three recognized types of ADHD – inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined. There are significant differences in the diagnosis and treatments of these three iterations of the disorder.

Inattentive

Inattentive ADHD is what was formerly known as ADD, or attention deficit disorder. However, in May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association released the DSM-5, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. This new edition to the DSM eliminated the classification of ADD and replaced it with inattentive ADHD. Children with inattentive ADHD are unable to pay attention but are not impulsive or hyperactive.

Hyperactive/Impulsive

Hyperactive/impulsive ADHD is what people have always thought of when they heard ADHD. Children with this form of ADHD do not demonstrate the inability to remain attentive. Rather, they are characteristically impulsive and hyperactive.

Combined

Children with combined ADHD exhibit symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

ADHD SYMPTOMS

ADHD symptoms vary from individual to individual, but possible signs include:

  • Difficulty with organization
  • Inability to stick to a singular activity or task
  • Daydreaming
  • Losing items required to complete an activity such as glue or pens
  • Making careless errors or missing details in school work
  • An apparent lack of attention or listening skills – children may be incapable of completing a task, even if they understood the parameters
  • Avoidance of any tasks which require thinking or concentration
  • They may fail to complete chores or schoolwork because they are difficult to accomplish, not because they do not understand what is being asked or because they are rebelling against authority
  • Fidgeting feet or hands and/or squirming in their seat
  • Being distracted easily and forgetful in daily activities
  • The inability to pay attention to tasks or maintain an active listening position
  • Being unable to remain seated for significant periods or play quietly, or always being on the move
  • Being very talkative and unable to wait his or her turn, such as interrupting conversations or games
  • Active impulsively or being unable to resist temptation

ADHD RISK FACTORS: UNCOVERING THE TRUTH

There are many untruths surrounding the causes of ADHD in both children and adults. First, let’s take a look at what does not cause ADHD.

Myths

The following have been proven through scientific research to not cause ADHD:

  • Poor parenting
  • Poverty
  • Playing video games
  • Watching television
  • Consuming an excess of sugar
  • Artificial food dyes and preservatives

Facts

Here is the truth about ADHD risk factors:

  • If a mother or father has ADHD, his or her children are more likely to have the neurobehavioral disorder
    • This connection exists within the DRD4 gene which affects your brain’s dopamine receptors
  • According to the CDC, the most significant environmental factors which increase the risk of ADHD are prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy
  • Other environmental factors such as exposure to neurotoxic chemicals like organophosphate pesticides and lead also affect children’s neurodevelopment negatively

ADHD DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

To be diagnosed with ADHD, a single test will not suffice. A doctor will assess the symptoms of you or your child over the course of six months and then complete a physical exam to assess health. With a diagnosis, someone suffering from ADHD can receive medication, behavioral therapies like talk therapy or behavioral therapy, or both therapy and medication.

Meet our Child Specialists

A multidisciplinary team to ensure comprehensive care

Alina Vasilache
Alina VasilacheClinical Psychologist & Head of Department
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Paula Soriano
Paula SorianoClinical Psychologist
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Dr Hanan Hussein
Dr Hanan HusseinChild & Adult Psychiatrist
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Dr Daniela graf
Dr Daniela grafChild & Adolescent Psychiatrist
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Dr Bariah Dardari
Dr Bariah DardariIntegrative Pediatrician
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Bana Okasha
Bana OkashaOccupational Therapist
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Eva Petkoff
Eva PetkoffPhysiotherapist
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Rasha Shehadi
Rasha ShehadiCase Manager
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