Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Symptoms of ADHD
The main symptoms of ADHD include inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. These are traits that most children display at some point or another, but to establish a diagnosis with ADHD, the symptoms should be inappropriate for the child's age or not concurrent with other children in the same age group.
I know so many people say oh he/she is just a normal child but believe me when I say you will know if your child is ADD/ADHD, I picked it up with Loghan extremely early at a stage when I adamantly refused to even acknowledge the existence of ADHD, his behaviour was just very different to other children his age and from babyhood he already displayed colicky, hyperactive behaviour, he was always on the go, always getting into trouble always acting impulsively.
The Types of ADHD
There are three different subtypes of ADHD, including:
• Combined ADHD, which involves symptoms of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity.
• Inattentive ADHD or ADD, which is marked by impaired attention and concentration
• Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, which is marked by hyperactivity without inattentiveness
Loghan has combined ADHD, the only time he will stay focused on something is if it is an activity of his choosing that he thoroughly enjoys and most of the time that activity has something to do with the xbox, explorer, psp etc although even then his mind will wonder after about 20 minutes he gets bored very easily will ask for several different games within a small space of time etc.
For a diagnosis of ADHD, some symptoms that cause impairment must be present before age seven- I mentioned earlier that with Loghan I noticed symtoms from a very early age. Also, some impairment from the symptoms must be present in more than one setting. For instance, the person may be impaired at home and school or home and work. Also, there must be clear evidence the symptoms interfere with the person's ability to function at home, in social environments, or at work.
This is the main problem for Children with ADHD they may be ok functioning in the home environment with their parents but it usually affects their school environment terribly.
Symptoms of ADHD
There are three different categories of ADHD symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity.
Inattention may not become apparent until a child enters the challenging environment of school.
A person with ADHD may have some or all of the following symptoms:
• Difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities; producing work that is often messy and careless
• Easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting on going tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
• Inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities
• Difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration
• Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
• Forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
• Failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores
• Frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one's mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
Loghan fits all of these
Hyperactivity Symptoms include:
• Fidgeting, squirming when seated
• Getting up frequently to walk or run around
• Running or climbing excessively when it's inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)
• Having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
• Always being 'on the go'
• Often talking excessively
Check to all the above!
Hyperactivity may vary with age and developmental stage.
Toddlers and preschoolers with ADHD tend to be constantly in motion, jumping on furniture, and having difficulty participating in sedentary group activities.
For instance, they may have trouble listening to a story.
School-age children display similar behavior but with less frequency. They are unable to remain seated, squirm a lot, fidget, or talk excessively.
Impulsivity symptoms include:
• Difficulty delaying responses
• Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
• Difficulty awaiting one's turn
• Frequently interrupting or intruding on others to the point of causing problems in social or work settings
• Initiating conversations at inappropriate times
Again Check to all!
Impulsivity may lead to accidents such as knocking over objects or banging into people. Children with ADHD may also engage in potentially dangerous activities without considering the consequences. For instance, they may climb to precarious positions.
Many of these symptoms occur from time to time in normal youngsters. However, in children with ADHD they occur frequently -- at home and at school or when visiting with friends. They also interfere with the child's ability to function as other children of the same age or developmental level.
ADHD is diagnosed only when children consistently display some or all of the above behaviors in at least two settings, such as at home and in school, for at least six months.
Long-Term Prognosis With ADHD
Some children with ADHD -- approximately 20% to 30% -- develop learning problems that may not improve with ADHD treatment. Hyperactive behavior may be associated with the development of other disruptive disorders, particularly conduct and oppositional-defiant disorder. Why this association exists is not known.
A great many children with ADHD ultimately adjust. Some, though, especially those with an associated conduct or oppositional-defiant disorder, are more likely to drop out of school. These individuals fare more poorly in their later careers.
Inattention tends to persist through childhood and adolescence and on into adulthood, while hyperactivity tends to diminish with age.
As they grow older, some teens that have had ADHD since childhood may experience periods of anxiety or depression, this is tied in with a Chemical Imbalance.
Several of the symptoms of ADHD may get worse as the demands at school or home increase. They include:
• Difficulty following instructions
• Being unable to get organized, either at home or at school
• Fidgeting, especially with the hands and feet
• Talking too much
• Failing to finish projects, including chores and homework
• Not paying attention to and responding to details
• Getting poor grades in school
• Being isolated from peers due to poor grades and secondary depression
Brain Chemical Imbalance Symptoms
By Berit Brogaard
Healthy people possess levels of brain chemicals that lie within a certain normal range. When internal or external factors either deplete the brain of these chemicals or stimulate it to produce excess amounts, a chemical imbalance occurs. Imbalances in the brain's chemistry can give rise to mood disorders, learning disabilities, substance abuse and muscle weakness. The most easily noticeable imbalances in the brain's chemistry are imbalances in neurotransmitters that function as stimulants or inhibitors in the neurological system.
The road that we travelled with Loghan
The doctors/ specialists we have seen
Edu-help- for an educational assessment at the age of 4 when he started displaying issues in the crèche environment
Loghan put onto; omega oils, ADDaway, ADDvance, primrose oil as well as a strict diet and routine was implemented.
Janet Bytheway community project- for play therapy referred by Edu-help, which I have to say, was useless.
Debbie Paizee- Counsellor and psychologist for a full assessment as well as play therapy- diagnosed with ADHD age 5- referred to Dr Adri van der Walt for medication and confirmation of diagnosis.
Dr Adri van der Walt- confirmed diagnosis and put Loghan onto Methylphenidate (generic of Ritalin) 10mg twice a day, he was put on something else at night-time but we felt that it affected his behaviour and mood negatively so we took him off that.
Edith Kriel- For play therapy and counselling from school issues bullying and anger management arising from school issues
Loghan put onto Biostrath and IQ supplements
Schio therapist- underwent a full SCIO scan, prescribed GABA and inositol.
Dr Tevia Zieff- Paediatrician- For a 2nd assessment, confirmed ADHD with displaying symptoms of ODD and referred to a child Psychiatrist- changed from Methylphenidate (generic of Ritalin) to Concerta (no generic) 56mg once a day
Dr Ziervogal- Child psychiatrist- another assessment, confirmed chemical imbalance and ADHD, put onto Ambilify 5mg daily in combination with his Concerta which has been lowered to 32mg once a day
I will stress that in my opinion it is important to try every natural method possible first before going the Chemical route, we did not want to go the chemical route but were eventually left with no choice.
Unfortunately not all children have success with the natural supplements, which we had with Loghan, before we put him onto the Methylphenidate we were given the option of Strattura with is a long acting natural supplement offered for ADHD/ADD children however this was extremely expensive and the chance of it working is only 70 % compared to the chemical with has a 98 % success rate, also bearing in mind that once you have started down the chemical route the success rate of Straturra lessens to something like 60%.
That is not to say that you cannot use natural supplements in conjunction with Ritalin/ Concerta.
You will also see that while on Methylphenidate Loghan took 2 doses daily, this is because Methylphenidate is short acting lasting for 4 hours and therefore 2 doses are needed to get through the day, Ritalin is available in short and long acting and Concerta is only a long acting chemical it lasts 10 hours whereas Ritalin is a 7/8 hour.
We originally went with Methylphenidate A because it was affordable (it is available at government clinics if you have been diagnosed and are not on a medical aid) and B because Loghan was a bad eater and we wanted to ensure he ate in-between doses- a downside to the medication is lack of appetite as well.
In our experience even though the Concerta is way more expensive his appetite has been much better as well as his behaviour- we were told afterwards that the generics are known to not work as well with a high percentage of children…. Sigh.
We still have Loghan on Biostrath as well as a daily vitamin supplement, he is still on a strict diet as well, this is imperative with an ADHD child, there is no use putting your child on medication if all they eat is sweets and junk.
My other recommendation is to have your child properly assessed by a professional known in the field and do your research, there are so many groups, books, sites etc. out there, so much information that they have never had before.
One last thing- your child is not stupid or Lazy and do not let anyone tell you otherwise, ADHD children are often highly intelligent and score way above their peers IQ wise, Loghan has been IQ tested and scores between 125 and 140, this was at the age of 5!!!!
They are simply misunderstood and believe me when I say it takes a truck load of patience and love to move down this road but it is possible!!!!!
Good Luck and strength and understanding!