Introduction to ADHD in Young Child
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also known as “Hyperkinetic Syndrome” in many areas of the world. Generally ADHD in young children is more common than that of adults. For the ease of understanding ADHD in detail, I’ve subcategorized this article into following subheadings:
History and Epidemiology
When did ADHD first happen? No one knows precisely. It might be present even in Stone Age but we have no records. In 493 BC, physician-scientist Hippocrates described a condition that seems to be compatible with what we now know as ADHD.
However, he was not able to provide details to make it relevant. But it was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. He first noticed it in his own son, a child living with adhd, who was suffering from ADHD at the age of 3. He was a renowned writer and poet as well. His creation "The Story of Fidgety Philip" was an accurate description of a little boy who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In 1902 Sir George F. Still for the first time published a proper series of lectures with more detailed account, to Royal College of Physicians in England. He described that a child with add ADHD has genetic dysfunction and this causes a child to be impulsive with significant behavioral problems.
All over the world ADHD is very common. 3-5% children in preschool age suffer from ADHD. This means that in the U.S. alone, approximately 2 million children are living with ADHD.
According to one recent study, almost 14% of all the children suffering from different psychological disorders are diagnosed with ADHD. 10% of them are boys while 4% are girls, showing male predisposition for ADHD.
The causes of attention deficit disorder are still not fully understood. ADHD is a developmental neurological disorder. Generally it is observed that ADHD has a genetic basis. Twin studies have confirmed the genetic and generational factor.
1/5th of all ADHD children are not genetically predisposed. They either have a history of trauma or brain injury by physical toxins (but postnatal) as the cause of ADHDS. Any complications during pregnancy or birth also play a major role in advancement of ADHD in young child.
Premature births also predispose a child to ADD or ADHD. Similarly women who smoke or use alcohol during pregnancy have more risk of having a child with ADD or ADHD.
Disorders Frequently Associated with ADHD
ADHD is more like a syndrome rather than a disorder. Usually a child living with ADHD is not only suffering from ADHD. There can be several other disorders or conditions that can accompany ADHD. Few of them are listed here for general overview:
1. Learning Disabilities:
20-30% of ADHD are reported to have learning disabilities. Almost all children reported with ADHD at some point face difficulty in learning and writing.
A child with ADD ADHD may have difficulty in understanding certain sounds or words and/or difficulty in expressing oneself in words. They may have reading and spelling difficulties.
However, it is important to understand that ADHD and learning disabilities are not always linked.
2. Tourette Syndrome:
A small portion of ADHD children have Tourette syndrome as well. They have nervous tics and can even have repetitive problems. Grimacing, eye blinks, facial twitches, sniffing, snoring, frequent clearing of throats etc. are mostly observed.
3. Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
As many as one-third to one-half of all children with ADHD—mostly boys—have another condition, known as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
These children are frequently rebellious, stubborn, recalcitrant, have outbursts of temper, or become quarrelsome. They dispute with adults and refuse to follow.
4. Conduct Disorder:
About 30-45% children living with ADHD develop Conduct disorders in them. They become anti social. They lie, steal, and fight. People and teachers around them are always complaining about them. These children if not helped at time can get easily addicted and become burglars or thieves.
It is a reading disorder. A child with ADHD finds it impossible to focus and spell the words. He finds the words to be blurring, moving and many say that words are dancing. They particularly have problems with arithmetic and similar looking letters like b, d, m, n, g, q, p etc.
6. Anxiety and Depression:
Inability to read, write and compete with other students may lead to depression and anti social behavior. Many families have found homeschooling ADHD children to be an effective solution to this problem.
7. Bipolar Disorder:
Accurate data is not available for this but in a few cases bipolar disorder does exist in its classical form in patients with ADHD. More often, however, bipolar disorder is misdiagnosed as ADHD.
It is extremely important to diagnose bipolar disorder properly. When ADHD medication is provided to bipolar children, it can create even more severe problems, increasing the mood swings.If believe you are dealing with an ADHD child in your home, it is important that it is diagnosed accurately. The type of treatment he or she receives must be based on the actual issues they are facing.
Because there are so many disorders that mimic ADD and ADHD, it is best to find a specialist that is familiar with many different disorders. Learn more on our treatment for ADHD page.
Whatever approach you choose for treating ADHD and ADD in your family, natural herbal formulas designed to address attention and behavioral issues will help. Many families have found that Focus Formula provides the improvement they are looking for.