Have you noticed that your child is having difficulty paying attention and staying focused?
Or are they unable to stay still and cause disruptions in the classroom or in social settings?
These are signs they may have ADHD.
ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurodevelopmental condition that can affect your child’s ability to focus and remain still for extended periods of time.
ADHD can be difficult to deal with, but we can help.
Today we’re going to explore what ADHD is and help provide some insight to frequently asked questions about this condition.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder.
It’s characterized by increased levels of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity.
ADHD is a common childhood condition that affects parts of the brain related to problem solving, organization, impulse control, and executive functioning.
It can cause your child to have difficulties at home, in the classroom, in the community, in social settings, or on the playground.
Children with ADHD may have issues with their academic performance, social relationships, and their self esteem.
Are ADD And ADHD Different?
Generally speaking, there isn’t a difference between ADD, attention deficit disorder, and ADHD.
ADHD is more common than ADD and many professionals have stopped using the term ADD. However, some people and professionals continue to use both terms.
ADD, also known, as attention deficit disorder, presents like ADHD, but without the hyperactivity part.
That typically looks like a child with trouble focusing, but with less impulsivity and less need to be “on the go”.
Both ADD and ADHD benefit from therapeutic services.
How Can I Tell If My Child Has ADHD?
There are many behavioral signs and symptoms that are connected to ADHD.
They depend on the type of ADHD your child has and what aspect of their life it affects.
This can include hyperactivity, difficulties with attention, and impulsivity.
Some overall general symptoms of ADHD can include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty sitting still
- Not remembering to finish tasks and activities
- Inattention to details
- Trouble listening
- Interrupting and disrupting others
- Being easily distracted
- Having poor impulse control
- Excessive talking
- Frequently losing things
Why Are Kids With ADHD More Likely To Be Overweight?
Children with ADHD may have greater difficulty with maintaining a healthy weight.
There are certain factors that may contribute to children being overweight if they have ADHD.
Their ADHD symptoms may affect their eating habits, sleep patterns, and physical activity levels.
In particular, kids with ADHD generally have poor impulse control.
This can make it more difficult for them to resist junk food, both as a kid and into adulthood.
Additionally, people with ADHD can get hyper focused on a task they enjoy.
For many children, that’s video games or other sedentary activities.
These factors can significantly impact weight management and can lead to children becoming overweight.
What Conditions Commonly Occur With ADHD?
A large portion of people that have ADHD may also have other coexisting conditions.
These conditions can cause further challenges to their everyday life.
Mood disorders, including anxiety and depression, can accompany ADHD.
This can cause children with ADHD to be more irritable than others.
However, it’s unclear whether these mood disorders are a result of ADHD itself, or if the mood disorders are causing the ADHD.
Either way, when a child is struggling with ADHD and mood disorders, it often affects their school and social life.
This can cause increased stress and irritability.
A neurodiversity affirming therapeutic approach can help your child manage these feelings more effectively.
Sleeping disorders are also common, and can either be a result of ADHD or further aggravate ADHD symptoms.
A large number of children with ADHD can have some kind of learning disorder, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Any therapeutic approach will take all of the above into consideration.
Can My Child Have ADHD And Be Autistic?
Autistic children will often also display signs of ADHD.
Some children with ADHD may have signs of autism in regards to social skills and physical sensitivity.
ADHD and autism spectrum disorder are similar in the sense that they’re both neurodevelopmental disorders and can affect similar parts of the brain.
This includes decision making, organization skills, ability to focus, impulse control, and time management.
What Causes ADHD?
We don’t yet fully understand what causes ADHD.
However, researchers have a few ideas.
There are a number of different possible causes and risk factors for ADHD, which include:
- Genetic factors
- Exposure to lead in utero or during infancy
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other recreational drugs during pregnancy
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
But the truth is, we don’t yet know for certain.
However, we do know that ADHD is not caused by the following:
- Eating too much junk food
- Low income
- Bad parenting
- An unstable family environment
- Too much tv/video games
These factors may aggravate ADHD symptoms in kids who already have it.
However, there’s no reliable evidence that any of the above cause ADHD.
Is ADHD Common?
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders that affects children.
It’s estimated that perhaps three to five percent of children have ADHD.
Does ADHD Affect Adults As Well As Children?
The short answer is yes, it does.
Many children with ADHD continue to have ADHD symptoms into adulthood.
Furthermore, the development of ADHD in adults may be associated with substance abuse, mood disorders, depression, and more.
ADHD can affect adults by diminishing their work performance, causing issues with personal relationships, mood issues, and difficulty completing daily tasks and responsibilities.
What Is Executive Function?
Children with ADHD commonly have difficulties with executive function.
Executive functions involve functions in the brain that are responsible for initiating, managing, and organizing other functions.
It helps in the ability to make quick decisions and adapt their actions to achieve their desired results.
Issues with executive function can affect things like planning, prioritizing tasks, and impulse control.
How Can Occupational Therapy Help Kids With ADHD?
There are a number of different ways occupational therapy can help kids with ADHD.
It can help your child improve their executive function, time management and organizational skills, and help them overcome issues with social skills.
There are a wide variety of strategies an occupational therapist can implement to address specific ADHD related symptoms.
Whether it’s time management, organization, executive function, or social skills, occupational therapy can help determine which area requires particular focus and address the causes.
This can help your child gain more control and independence and devise ways to help minimize the effects of their symptoms.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Kids With ADHD?
A pediatric physical therapist can help your child develop their gross motor skills in any areas they may be falling behind.
This can help them keep up with their peers, which can in turn help them further develop their social skills.
Additionally, coordination and learning run along the same motor pathways in the brain.
This means that as coordination improves, attention often improves as well.
This can also help them take part in physical activities with their friends and classmates, which can help your child’s ability to retain attention, process information, and improve their mood.
Book Your Appointment With Little Feet Pediatric Therapy Today
Do you think your child may be struggling with ADHD?
If you’ve noticed that your child is having difficulty paying attention, focusing, or sitting still, we can help.
At Little Feet Therapy we offer pediatric occupational and physical therapy treatments for children with ADHD.
► 3535 Randolph Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
► 1331 H St NW Ste 200, Washington, DC 20005
► St. Louis, MO
► Raleigh, NC
Founded in 2019, Little Feet Therapy offers on site pediatric physical and occupational therapy treatments for children from 2 months to 18 years old with physical and developmental concerns. Our clinics focus on providing therapy in a child’s natural setting where your child is in familiar surroundings, it puts their mind at ease and helps them focus more on the work they’re doing with their pediatric therapist. Our therapists will work with your child at your home, at school, at daycare, or another place in the community where they feel most comfortable.