Is ADHD A Disorder ?

Symptoms Of ADHD in Children
  • Is easily distracted
  • Doesn’t follow directions or finish tasks
  • Doesn’t appear to be listening
  • Doesn’t pay attention and makes careless mistakes
  • Forgets about daily activities
  • Has problems organizing daily tasks
  • Doesn’t like to do things that require sitting still
  • Often loses things
  • Tends to daydream

ADHD is a behavioural disorder, not an illness or a sign of low intelligence. With understanding, care and medical treatment, a child who has ADHD can lead a normal life.

Children with ADHD have three main symptoms:

  • Inattention – having difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completing anything
  • Impulsivity – talking over the top of others, having a ‘short fuse’, being accident prone
  • Overactivity – constant restlessness and fidgeting.

All young children have a limited attention span and sometimes do things without thinking, but only a few of these children have ADHD.

Is ADHD A Disorder?

ADHD is one of the most researched of psychiatric disorders; neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies point to brain differences in ADHD, so there’s very strong evidence of it being a biological disorder. What we know about it is that children with ADHD show differences in the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain, which are responsible for motivation and executive functioning such as planning, inhibiting responses and impulses, paying attention, keeping track of time, evaluating ideas and reflecting on our own work, and blocking distractions. And kids with ADHD can’t do those things as well. Stimulant medications, which affect the way the brain transmits information, have a direct impact on the symptoms of ADHD.

Some people think of ADHD as a learning disorder, like dyslexia, because it does affect how kids perform in school when they have trouble paying attention, sitting still, or finishing tasks. But the symptoms of ADHD affect a child’s functioning much more broadly than a learning disorder, which involves difficulty with a very specific aspect of learning.

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