Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) refer to a range of behavioural problems associated with poor attention span.

These may include impulsiveness, restlessness, hyperactivity and inattentiveness, things that can prevent children from learning and socialising as well as they might.

Although the exact causes of ADHD and ADD remain unknown, research has continued to increase over the last decade or so. At present the most likely cause is believed to be genetic, but there is evidence to suggest that other causes may exist.

Carers – more often than not parents – of those with ADHD and ADD often find some or all the following steps useful in building a greater understanding, and ultimately helping those affected tackle the disorders and their respective challenges.

With these and many other medical conditions, knowledge is power – reading, attending talks and conferences, participating in support groups or online communities (like our discussion boards and chat room) have all been known to help carers. Involving the child can help greatly too – depending on their age, discussing the specifics of his/her condition using books and websites for kids can keep you both informed and better prepared to address the problem.

Working together and maintaining good communication with others, be they the child's doctor, support group worker, teacher, or other family members, is another way to make sure the needs of the child are not forgotten; the responsibility should not only rest on your shoulders.

Anticipating problems and setting achievable plans and targets could help speed up your child's progress and gives you both a measurable benchmark to work towards. When doing this you should look for opportunities to support and celebrate your child's strengths too, especially in the non-academic areas. A little encouragement can go a long way.

For a much more comprehensive look at ADHD and ADD and all its associated topics why not have a look at some of these relevant links and articles.

ADDISS

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Mental Health Foundation (ADHD)

ADD Resources

The Mental Health Sanctuary (ADD)

Adders.org

PsychNet-UK (ADD)

Northern County Psychiatric Associates (ADHD)

LD Online (USA)