Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention, concentration, and hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and difficulty focusing and paying attention.

In five to ten percent of children, these disorders appear in varying degrees of severity. Children and adults are affected by these disorders in all aspects of their lives. Studies, social and family relationships, the child's self-image and sense of ability can all be adversely affected by these factors.

Dr Baseem Namouz - ADHD

How does ADHD manifest itself?

In most cases, these disorders are manifested by a decrease or impairment of the ability to concentrate and pay attention. It is possible for this symptom to manifest itself in the following ways, among others:

  • Having difficulty focusing on a single stimulus at a time.
  • Having difficulty maintaining attention and concentration over the long term.
  • Paying attention to details is difficult.
  • It is difficult to ignore external stimuli.
  • Confusion and difficulty thinking clearly.
  • The inability to perform several tasks at the same time due to impairments in the splitting of attention.

An additional key symptom is impulsivity, which results from the inability to control impulses. Children may exhibit this symptom in the following ways:

  • Waiting for one's turn while playing or conversing is difficult.
  • Despite understanding the dangers involved, it is difficult to avoid taking part in dangerous activities.
  • An outburst tendency.
  • Having difficulty adhering to social rules or rules of conduct.

Last but not least, these disorders are characterized by impulsivity, which is expressed in several ways below:

  • A tendency to speak intensively.
  • As a result of motor restlessness, children with ADHD tend to run and get up from sitting more often than their peers.
  • A tendency to make noise and to bully other children.

What is the method of diagnosing ADHD in children?

Since attention and concentration disorders may negatively affect the lives of children in many areas, it is imperative to diagnose these disorders as early as possible. Early diagnosis allows for the development of a treatment plan adapted to the individual child's needs, thereby reducing the risk of damaging the child's social relationships, his emotional state, and his academic performance.

It is common for various tests to be performed in order to rule out other factors that may have contributed to the symptoms the child exhibits. A blood test may be used to pinpoint certain nutritional deficiencies, or a psychologist may conduct an examination to identify certain emotional difficulties.

When other factors have been ruled out, a test can be conducted to determine whether the child meets the six criteria listed in the fifth diagnostic statistical manual for psychiatric disorders. The subject must meet five criteria in order to be diagnosed with these disorders in adults.

It is essential that the symptoms described in the criteria last for more than six months continuously and interfere with adaptation and normal development.

What is the treatment for ADHD?

Many people believe that the only treatment for ADHD is medication, but medication is only one step in the treatment of these disorders. Treatment aims to improve function at a distinct and optimal level, while avoiding, if possible, difficulties secondary to the disorder.

Professionals in this field generally agree that a child who suffers from these disorders should receive treatment from a multi-professional team in order to address the various aspects of the disorder. These include, among others, the following treatments:

  • Medicine - Drug treatment should be incorporated into psychiatric or neurological treatment.
  • Mental Therapy - Due to the fact that these disorders significantly affect the child's mind and emotional state, it is important to include treatment with a psychologist or therapist who specializes in treating children, such as a therapist who specializes in animal therapy.
  • Physical Therapy - A physical therapy program that will assist the child in dealing with the excess of sensory stimuli, such as therapeutic cycling or hydrotherapy, is highly recommended as part of the treatment regimen.
  • Diet - As it is now known, the diet of those suffering from this disorder has a significant impact on the severity of the symptoms, therefore a clinical dietician should be included as part of the treatment plan.
  • Assessment - As part of the treatment plan, a professional is usually included who can evaluate the progress of the treatment and its results and recommend changes as necessary.