Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that affects three to seven per cent of children. The disorder causes difficulties concentrating, sitting still, controlling emotions and listening. ADHD is one of the best-researched psychological disorders and the overall data on its validity are far more compelling than for most mental disorders. It is officially recognized by the World Health Organization.
Children with ADHD are not problem children, but children who have difficulty functioning. These difficulties can be addressed. These children often have special characteristics, such as being energetic, adventurous, intelligent, having a great sense of humor and the ability to throw themselves into their goals. Unfortunately, these characteristics sometimes go unnoted strictly because the difficulties caused by ADHD always seem to be front and centre.
The tendency of children with ADHD to be disorganized, forgetful and easily distracted sometimes makes it hard for their true colors to shine, but the potential is there and often just needs a helping hand.
Physicians, parents and educators routinely offer guidance by teaching children with ADHD that the disorder is a challenge, not an excuse. With the help of medication, which can correct the underlying chemical imbalance, along with appropriate counseling, they have a fair chance of reaching their full potential.
All medications currently approved to treat ADHD belong to a class called stimulants. A number of new investigational ADHD treatments offer great promise and in the future Canadians will have more choice in ADHD treatment.
Research has shown that up to 60 per cent of children continue to have symptoms into adulthood and this can cause career difficulties due to disorganization and attention deficiencies, but those who adapt to their condition as children can thrive personally and professionally.
For more information on ADHD, please visit your doctor.