Learning About ADHD and ADD

Learning About ADHD and ADD

by Laura Sciarpelletti
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ADHD—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—is largely diagnosed in children, and you no doubt hear the term thrown around a lot. Its symptoms center specifically on inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, but differ depending on the person. The outdated term ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder—is ADHD but without the hyperactivity.

As this is such a widespread issue, the term ADHD is very broad. The focus on the individual and his or her needs is very important, especially when one is trying to understand how they can help. The important thing to remember is that the individual suffering from ADHD does not wish to; it is not curable but there are ways to soften the symptoms as the years go by.

Types of ADHD

  1. Inattentive—Typically this is referred to when an individual uses the term ADD. It means that the person in question is easily distracted, but is neither hyperactive nor impulsive.
  2. Hyperactive-Impulsive—The individual displays signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Their attention focus, however, is not an issue.
  3. Combined—The individual shows signs of all three issues: impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.

Symptoms can be found in both kids and in adults. Adults with ADHD typically have had the disorder since their childhood but were diagnosed later on. Usually an evaluation is sought out when relationships go under strain and friends or family either recognize a problem and bring up a sort of intervention scenario, or the individual goes in for counseling and a physician notices the signs of adult ADHD.  It can spawn depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities may worsen ones symptoms. However, by curbing impulsivity and focusing on regaining attention through exercises, symptoms of ADHD can sometimes go away at a certain age.

Help for adults with ADHD:

Medication—This is for management, but is not a cure or solution. Often times the medication will double as an antidepressant.

Self-help strategies—Use day planners, make lists, incorporate breathing exercises, set reminders. Take control of the clutter, create space for yourself, and perpetuate a clean environment.

Health professionals—Depending on how you are dealing with your ADHD, keep regular visits with a psychiatrist or councilor to stay on top of medication doses, discuss way to curb your struggles, and hash out relationship issues caused by ADHD symptoms.

Help for children with ADHD:

Provide executive guidance—Children with ADHD need structure and limitations. They don’t hear parental instruction, so find a way to make it clear.

Be understanding—The child does not want to annoy or act out, they cannot help it. Be patient about the power of their condition over them. People with ADHD start projects and forget to finish them, interrupt conversations, peak before they think, and have difficulty sleeping. Find exercises that will compartmentalize the child’s tasks, and find ways of calming down their mood.

Regular visits with teachers—Keep a dialogue going about the child, ways they are struggling, ways they are excelling and things that can be done to better deal with their ADHD symptoms.




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