'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder' (ADHD) is a sub-type of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It is different from 'Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) inattentive type'.
Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD
Imagine you ask your 6 years old son to brush his teeth. As he listens to the word ‘brush’, he starts thinking about a big paint brush he saw with his classmate a few days ago. He remembers the green tree his classmate drew with that big brush. His mind flashes pictures of the colored water that was dripping out of the water colors on the green tree. He thinks crayons are better that way because they don’t need any water. He has a good collection of crayons. The last pack of crayons was a gift from grandpa. Grandpa is wonderful. He had so much fun with grandpa during last holidays. Holidays are fun. What if he could color lots of pictures with the crayons with grandpa? That would be real fun …
By the time he has been busy thinking these wonderful ideas, you have called him three times and you are boiling with anger now. To you, he does not listen to you… He is not behaving…. He is careless…. He needs to be disciplined... and so on…..
But the fact is he was lost in a world of his own imagination. He had no intention to disobey you. He was behaving to his best. Your reaction confuses him. He wonders what’s going on? What is he scolded for? He didn’t do anything wrong.
That’s ADD – (Attention Deficit Disorder)
It is a developmental disorder.
Statistics of ADD
3-5% of children are born with ADD. It is more prominent in boys than girls. 50-80% kids carry ADD to adulthood. Primarily, it causes academics problem. The intensity of symptoms might be reduced with growing age. Many adolescents or adults adapt themselves and develop positive aspects of this ‘disorder’, despite carrying some weaknesses of the disorder.
Sub-Types of ADD
ADD has three following three broad sub-types:
1. Add-inattentive type
2. Add-hyperactive type
3. Mixed types of the two types.
Gift of ADD: Positive side of ADD
The words ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ indicate that it is some serious sort of mental disorder. This word takes our attention to the darkest side of such kids. I think it is not fair. This nomenclature needs to be changed. Kids like this are amazing in some other ways. They have lots of rare positive qualities. They are raw material for geniuses. Click here to find out what are the positive qualities these kids with attention deficit disorder are gifted with.
Diagnosis of ADD
There is no physical test to identify such kids. No blood test, no lab test. No X-ray or scanning can detect it. The child looks normal in physical appearance. There are, however, certain symptoms that suggest that the child has ADD. These symptoms are to be noticed in the behavior of the child. The degree and effect of the symptoms may vary from child to child. To diagnose a child with ADD:
• The symptoms must appear before seven years of age and persist at least for six months.
• The symptoms create noticeable problem in at least more than two settings and situations. Such as school, playground, home, party etc.
• The possibility of other behavioral disorder should be carefully ruled out for right diagnosis of ADD.
Symptoms of ADD
It is a little difficult to identify ADD kids because they do not create any disturbance to anybody. They are inattentive, passive, quiet and cooperative.:
• Concentration is the major problem with these kids. They can’t hold their attention on any thing for more than a little while. Anything means anything … except those activities in which the child has special interest. It may be any thing said or even shown. It may be studies, game, conversation etc.
• They are less attentive to important things, such as teachers' instructions; but more attentive to less important things, such as room temperature, sweating, sound of a fan, air-conditioner, chirping of birds outside etc.
• Very sensitive to smell. They easily get distracted by smells.
• Very sensitive to physical touch sensations such as the feeling of shirt’s tag against their skin etc.
• Don’t like things which require continuous attention or mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework.
• They are either very impulsive or difficult to satisfy easily.
• Nothing seems to make them happy except a few things in which they are really interested.
• Easily get bored with things.
• Start many things but leave most of them incomplete. They keep shifting from one thing to another without completing any of them.
• Find it difficult to complete the home work, school work or chores.
• Seem to be unmotivated to finish a job.
• Find it difficult to maintain long term relation with their friends, classmates etc.
• Often lost in their own imaginations and daydreaming.
• Appear confused, lost in thought, preoccupied or may seem to be drowsy.
• Sometimes they do not seem to listen when we talk to them directly.
• Working pace is usually very slow than their peers. They don’t seem to have a good idea of ‘time’.
• Might find it difficult to catch a ball thrown at them directly
• Easily forget important words, phrases, rhymes, daily activities etc. If you ask them what happened in the English class … they find it difficult to recollect and answer immediately.
• Most of the times, they fail to understand the instructions clearly. If they do, they find it difficult to follow.
• Easily feel overburdened with not so much information given in a chapter, books, copies, class-work, home-work, multiple and complicated instructions.
• Organizing things and activities is a difficult task.
• Difficulty in arranging their school bags. They usually forget to keep their belongings with them and easily loose them.
• Making careless mistakes very often.
• Infants and toddlers with ADD are crying all the time without any significant reason and are difficult to be soothed. They are fussy eaters, very sensitive to touch, usually have to be taken to doctor more often than their peers. They have very frequent infections and colics. They have lots of sleep disturbances.
ADD Vs. ADHD
There are significant differences between ADD (inattentive type) and ADHD (Add with Hyperactivity).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty paying attention
- Hyperactive physical , restless
- Difficulty remaining seated
- Difficulty waiting their turn
- Blurting out answers
- Doesn't obey instructions
- Shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
- Can't play quietly
- Talks excessively, doesn't listen
- Keeps interrupting in conversation
- Often loses things
- Makes a decision instantly without thinking about consequences
- Impulsive buying
- Acts and speaks without thinking
- Replies before completing the question
- Jumps to conclusions before checking details
- Making false assumptions
Making rapid decisions or to act quickly in a case of emergency.