It's a Thursday afternoon and you're in your last class of the day. Your eyelids are getting a bit heavy. After all, it's been a long week. You're having trouble concentrating on what the teacher is saying.
Before you know it, you're sitting in your last class of the day one day later on Friday afternoon. The weekend is calling, and you can barely sit still. You're so excited for a couple days off. Your thoughts of the days ahead are making it hard to concentrate again.
Do either of these scenarios sound familiar? If so, you're not alone. All of us experience trouble sitting still and concentrating from time to time. Did you know, though, that there are some people who have trouble sitting still and concentrating most of the time? These people have what doctors call attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Kids with ADHD are born with the condition. Scientists don't know for sure what causes ADHD, but they believe it is likely a genetic condition inherited through your genes. Kids with ADHD exhibit differences in the parts of their brains that control attention and activity.
Because kids with ADHD often have problems paying attention and sitting still, school can be difficult for them. ADHD also often leads to acting impulsively without thinking, which can lead to problems making friends.
The signs and symptoms of ADHD can vary quite a bit between individuals. Given the name, the two most common symptoms are trouble paying attention and hyperactivity. However, there are many other variations, including being distracted, forgetful, and disorganized. Kids with ADHD also tend to move around a lot, talk a lot, and interrupt when others are speaking.
If you're thinking that you know a lot of people that act this way from time to time, you're right. We all act in these ways occasionally. Kids with ADHD, on the other hand, experience these behaviors most, if not all, of the time. Experts estimate that about six million kids between the ages of 3-17 have ADHD.
Left untreated, the behaviors associated with ADHD can cause sufferers to become depressed, frustrated, and angry. When properly diagnosed by a professional, however, ADHD is a medical problem that can be treated, even though there's no absolute cure for ADHD.
Since ADHD symptoms are often both physical (hyperactivity) and mental (trouble paying attention), successful treatment usually involves both medicines and counseling. There are many different medicines used for ADHD that can help reduce hyperactivity and improve focus and attention.
Counseling can also help kids with ADHD learn how to cope with and alter their behavior. Therapists can help them deal with feelings of anger and depression. They can also recommend changes to both the school and home environment that can make it easier for kids with ADHD to be successful and build better friendships.
Some kids with ADHD may notice that they tend to grow out of the symptoms as they grow older. However, many kids with ADHD may continue to experience problems throughout their lives.