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Understanding ADHD: Causes

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What actually causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

 Over the years, the exact causes of ADHD have been unclear. However, genetics is generally known to be a major cause in most cases, although, other factors may contribute as well.

Genetics and ADHD

genetic-testing-300x199Research studies by Thapar et al, 2006; and Faraone et al, 2005 revealed that genetics could be a likely cause of ADHD. This indicates that ADHD has strong genetic ties. In other words, ADHD could be passed from parents to children through genes.

Twin studies also revealed that parents and siblings of children with ADHD are four to five times more likely to have the disorder as compared to people who are not related to someone with ADHD. This means that a child with ADHD may not be the only one with the disorder in the family.

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Other factors that could contribute to the development of ADHD include the following

  • The chemical imbalance of the brain. This inhibits the brain from performing its ‘executive functions’ such as problem solving, planning, memory recall, attention and focus.Alcohol_in_pregnancy_copy
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Brain damage before or after birth
  • Alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • Smoking and misuse of drugs during pregnancy
  • Exposure to toxic lead at a tender age
  • Family environment. A dysfunctional family may increase the chances of a child developing ADHD

 

Remember to follow me on twitter @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #LetstalkaboutADHD


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Understanding ADHD: Types and Characteristics of ADHD

Mixed Race boy throwing paper airplane in class

John, an 11 year old boy diagnosed with ADHD is rarely organized,

easily loses focus, doesn’t really talk so much but thinks before acting.

While Tina, another child with ADHD is quite organized,

but talks a whole lot, acts impulsively and very restless.

On the other hand, Sammy also diagnosed with ADHD is disorganized,

acts before thinking, hyperactive and talks too much.

 

The question that comes to mind here is,

“Why do they all exhibit different characteristics despite being diagnosed with the same disorder?”

This is because Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is generally known to have three subtypes which are:

  • The predominantly inattentive subtype
  • The predominantly hyperactive/impulsive subtype
  • The combined subtype.

The signs and symptoms exhibited by individuals with ADHD largely depends on the predominance of a particular characteristic.

There are 3 key characteristics of ADHD which are Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity.

Simply put;

A child that has the predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD will majorly manifest the signs and symptoms of inattention such as:

  • Inability to pay attention to tasksgirl-daydreaming-rex
  • Poor focus
  • Poor organizational skills
  • Poor listening skills
  • Delay in processing information
  • Carelessness and forgetfulness
  • Getting bored easily
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Persistent daydreaming

While another child with the Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive subtype of ADHD will majorly exhibit the signs and symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity such as:Hyperactive child

  • Restlessness
  • Impatience
  • Making impulsive decisions
  • Talkativeness
  • Inability to sit still.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Fidgeting/Squirming

Finally, a child with the combined subtype of ADHD will generally exhibit the signs and symptoms of both the inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive subtypes.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), most children have the combined type.

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Remember to follow me on twitter @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on

#LetstalkaboutADHD


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Understanding ADHD: Facts and Myths

 

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Over the years, so much has been said concerning ADHD which are merely misconceptions about the disorder. Some have thought of it as a result of bad upbringing, while others have thought about it as the individual’s fault; they believe those with ADHD behave in certain ways to purposely annoy or to avoid school work and  other given tasks. Also, some feel those with ADHD should be given harsh discipline in order to overcome such condition.

 As parents, care givers, teachers, siblings of individuals with ADHD and also those with ADHD , it is important that we have adequate knowledge about the disorder and be able to distinguish between mere myths and true facts about ADHD.

Highlighted below are some of the common misconceptions or myths on ADHD and the facts that refute them.

#1

Myth: Children with ADHD are just lazy

Fact: They are not lazy. They work as hard as other kids and may even work twice as hard but their results may be hindered by their condition.  

#2

Myth: ADHD isn’t a real disorder.

Fact: It is a brain based disorder which often results in some learning and behavioural difficulties. It is also one of the most common childhood disorders.

#3

Myth: ADHD is Gender-specific. Only boys have it.Girl with ADHD

Fact: It is not a gender-specific disorder as it affects both boys and girls.

#4

Myth: Sugar causes ADHD

Fact: Sugar increases energy levels and can induce hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD but it is not the cause of ADHD.

#5

Myth: ADHD results from bad parenting practices.

Fact: Though the symptoms of ADHD can be improved or worsened by parenting practices, ADHD is not caused by bad parenting.

#6

Myth: ADHD is prevalent among hyperactive children.

Fact: Although, hyperactivity is a common symptom experienced by individuals with ADHD, individuals that are less hyperactive can have the Inattentive subtype of ADHD.

#7

Myth: A person with ADHD isn’t vulnerable to any other conditions.

 Fact: A person with ADHD is actually predisposed to other conditions such as conduct disorder and anxiety disorders.

#8

Myth: Children with ADHD don’t become successful adults.

Fact: ADHD isn’t a hindrance to success in life. Actually, many successful and popular icons were diagnosed with ADHD such as Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.

Adhd brain smWhen next someone tells you one of the above mentioned myths, you sure will have the right facts to debunk them. Kindly follow me @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #LetstalkaboutADHD and share other myths you’ve heard as well.


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Understanding ADD/ADHD

Multiethnic Arms Raised Holding ADHD

When you hear ADD or ADHD, what comes to your mind?

Well, throughout the month of June, I shall be sharing very interesting information about ADD/ADHD such as what ADD/ADHD means, myths and facts about ADD/ADHD, types, causes, signs/characteristics, diagnosis, prevalence, management, clinical interventions, parenting tips, adult ADD/ADHD and successful people with ADHD. I bet you’re wondering how someone with ADHD can become successful in life right?  Trust me, it’s going to be an interesting month.

What is ADD/ADHD???

ADD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Disorder, while ADHD represents Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Let’s break this down a little bit:

A-      Attention refers to the ability or will to keep the mind on something in particular i.e being able to focus on ADHDsomething, usually for a period of time.

D-      Deficit means an inadequacy, insufficiency or lack of the ability to perform a given task.

H-      Hyperactivity simply means activity level which is above normal range.

D-      Disorder refers to a mental or physical interruption of normal functioning.

 

ADD/ADHD is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder which results in difficulty sustaining attention, problems with executive functions (ability to plan) and inability to control certain behaviours.

ADD/ADHD affects academic performance and social relationships and it is one of the most common childhood disorders which can span through adolescence and adulthood.

Young, sad boy sitting at desk over piece of paper with pencil in hand. Looking at camera, front view

There have been quite a number of myths about ADD/ADHD, am sure you’ve heard about some also. In the next article, we shall be checking out some interesting myths and facts about ADD/ADHD.

Kindly follow me @DrMorayoJimoh and let’s talk about ADHD