Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a developmental disorder causing persistent behaviour patterns.
It begins at birth, affecting both genders across all age groups and continues throughout life. ADHD tends to run in families and there are a number of factors that may contribute to its development, such as premature birth, low birth weight, brain injury, oxygen deprivation at birth or exposure to chemicals in early childhood.
People with ADHD have difficulties with attention, procrastination, staying focused, remembering to do things, losing or misplacing items, managing emotions, being impulsive and time management. They are often creative thinkers and full of energy. It is important to be patient with someone with ADHD as simple tasks can often feel overwhelming to them.
To help manage a child with ADHD develop consistent routines at home and school, establish clear and simple rules, only give one or two instructions at a time, praise your child where appropriate and discipline unacceptable behaviour.
Early interventions such as medication, positive parent strategies, school support and counselling are recommended for children with ADHD. If left untreated the condition can affect self esteem, relationships, education and career progression.
If you suspect your child may have ADHD, speak to your GP, pediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist.