ADHD – A Professional Perspective
“Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, is a developmental disorder of self-control. It consists of problems with attention span, impulse control and activity level.”
These signs can be seen in a child’s early years as being characteristic of an active child. The main issues of ADHD can be part of the early development of preschool children. However, children with ADHD do not seem to grow out of these behaviours at the same pace as others. Parents often recognize the signs when their children go to school. In school there are increased demands on children regarding focusing, having patience and self-control. Thus, there can be difficulties in social relationships, in learning and in behaviour. A conservative estimate is that 3-7% of school-aged children have ADHD. (Barkley, 2000)
Sometimes children have attention difficulties, but, are not hyperactive. They can be quieter, perhaps appearing as though they are daydreaming. They seem to have difficulties processing information given as instructions and organizing the information. Children with this type of ADHD may be recognized even later as they are quieter and do not have difficulty with social relationships or behaviour. (Barkley, 2000)
Children with ADHD can, thus, have difficulties in their years of growing and learning that can result in experiencing a great deal of failure and underachieving. This, of course, affects their self-esteem. However, ADHD is no one’s fault! And there are ways to help children with ADHD.
The diagnosis is complex and needs to be made by a qualified professional. If you have concerns about your child, make an appointment for him/her to see your Family Doctor for assessment. Knowledge is power.
Be sure to read in our next newsletter for some ways parents can work with their children. In the meantime, “Taking Charge of ADHD, The Complete Guide For Parents” by Russell Barkley, Ph.D., to which I have referred above, is an excellent book on the topic.
Donna Burtis, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Social Worker, Bayridge Family Center