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What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children?

Updated on November 26, 2016

What is ADHD in Children?

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) previously referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is believed to be a genetically inherited disorder of the brain. ADHD is a condition that affects some children in the pre-school and early school years; some adults also display symptoms of this disorder; however, for the purpose of this article, we will be looking at children with ADHD.

When people refer to these types of disorders, the first thing that comes to mind is hyperactivity. But some children display all the symptoms of ADD without hyperactivity. These kids are easily distracted and bored, whereas, the hyperactive child turns the distraction into action.

Children with ADHD or ADD have average intellect, but they find it difficult to process what is important. Some experts say that ADHD occurs as a result of an imbalance of the chemicals that transmit messages to the brain, and impairment of part of the brain that affects behaviour such as controlling attention, concentration and impulses.

Since approximately 40% to 50% of children with ADHD also have a parent or relative with ADHD, heredity seems to be a major risk factor

However, without definitive evidence the discussion continues; is this condition caused by, brain disorder, bad parenting skills or a combination of genetic and environmental factors? The Jewry is still out.

Whatever the cause of ADHD may be, research shows, as many as 2% of children in the United Kingdom and 3 to 5% of every child in the United Stated are suffering from ADHD.

Studies are currently focusing on how ADHD links to the structure of the brain and brain chemistry such as neurotransmitters dopamine and adrenaline that regulates attention and activity; they are also looking at differences in parts of the brain affecting impulse, control, and attention. According to the Lancet, Scientists from Cardiff University have found the first direct genetic link to ADHD; the disorder is said to be a brain disorder similar to autism.

Causes of ADHD. For some children ADHD can be the result of:

  • Early head trauma causing brain injury
  • Prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking, harmful drugs, and alcohol
  • Premature delivery
  • Complication during birth
  • Exposure to toxic substances such as lead
  • Epilepsy

Some experts believe diet and nutrition may play a part in the increased risk of ADHD e.g. Food additives, refined sugars, foods causing allergies and sensitivities.

Experts believe, there is a lack of nutrients necessary for proper brain functioning in children with symptoms of ADHD, suggesting a change in diet may reduce the symptoms of ADHD; however, there is not sufficient evidence to support this theory.

There are many misconceptions about ADHD; most people believe it is due to bad parenting skills, and I have to say, I also thought this to be true, but my perspective soon changed.

I witnessed at first hand, the difficulties parents face when a child display signs of ADHD, and the nightmare impact ADHD can have on the whole family if ADHD was a result of poor parenting skill, why do the other siblings behave so differently when the family dynamics and parenting skills remain the same?

There are no studies to support the idea that ADHD results from inadequate parenting skills, scientists agree that ADHD is a medical disorder affecting areas of the brain.

Symptoms of ADHD in Children

  • Inattention
  • Lack of concentration
  • Failure to listen to instruction
  • Inability to stay on a task
  • Talking too much
  • Fidgeting with hands and feet
  • Leaving chores unfinished
  • Difficulty responding to, or paying attention to details
  • Restlessness
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others
  • Appears to be driven, always on the go
  • Daydreaming, in a world of their own, this is more often seen in girls.


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    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      And a Happy New Year to you to, Deborah I was only too happy to help, go for it, and happy hubing

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      thanks that really helps.. I understand a lot better..Happy New Year.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi debrorah, thank you for the comment, I get Information from various Government's sites and also relevant community sites I.e. to research heart disease I would look at the British/American heart foundation.

      My advise to you is to do the research, but write from your perspective and always give people what they're looking for, use google for research and for adwords.As a nurse I already have some insight into the subjects I write about, that is why I chose this niche. I hope you'll find this helpful

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      This is great information.. where did you get all your material? I tried to post a condition about my Granddaughter and it said I was in violation of duplication.. I can't post anything except poems.

      but I love this great info.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      That is a very high number, thank you for the info. I will check it out. However, parents and teachers getting it wrong I can understand, but surely, it's you medical guys who do the diagnosis.

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      DR. ROBERT PRESSMAN 6 years ago

      In our study of Faux ADHD, we found an astounding 30% of children suspected by parents, teachers, or doctors to have ADHD. The figure had to do with faulty diagnoses, and was connected primarily to troubled bedtime routines. See for an abstract.

      Dr. Robert Pressman, Director of Research

      New England Center for Pediatric Psychology

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      L.L Woodard, thank you for stopping by and taking a look, I hope you had a lovely Christmas,.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      A great primer on ADHD.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 6 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Thank you so much for the comment, I do hope someone may benefit from it.

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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Interesting comprehensive article. You packed a whole lot of information in there.