Learn more about ADHD

April 2, 2020 BY

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioural disorder that affects between two per cent to 10 per cent of children, with boys about three times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.

A child with ADHD will act without thinking, is hyperactive, and has trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or focus on details. The features of ADHD may include one or more of the following:
Inattention – difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, apparent listening problems, easily distracted.
Impulsivity – interrupting, difficulty with turn-taking, having a ‘short fuse’.
Overactivity – constant restlessness and fidgeting, always ‘on-the-go’.
Of course, all kids (especially younger ones) act this way at times. But the difference with ADHD is that symptoms are present over a long time (at least six months) and occur in multiple different settings. They impair a child’s ability to function socially, academically, and at home.
ADHD is a behavioural disorder, not an illness or a sign of low intelligence. The good news is that with understanding, care and proper medical treatment, a child who has ADHD can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms so they can lead a normal life.
ADHD Myths vs. the Facts
Myth: All children with ADHD are hyperactive.
Fact: Some children with ADHD are inattentive, but not overly active. They may appear to be spacey and unmotivated.
Myth: Children with ADHD could behave better if they wanted to or tried harder.
Fact: A child with ADHD may do their best to be good, but may be unable to control impulses, sit still, or pay attention. They are not intentionally ‘misbehaving’. ADHD is not the child’s fault.
Myth: My child will ‘grow out of’ ADHD.
Fact: ADHD often continues into adulthood, so don’t wait for your child to outgrow the problem. Treatment can help your child learn to manage and minimize the symptoms.
Myth: Medication is the only treatment for ADD/ADHD.
Fact: Although medication is often prescribed, effective treatment for your child with ADHD also involves education, behaviour therapy, support at home and school, exercise, and proper nutrition.
Where to get help
Your doctor or paediatrician
Child psychologist
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Association of Victoria: 1800 233 842
The Specialist Children’s Services, Department of Human Services: 1300 650 172
DISCLAIMER: This material contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or professional advice, nor should it be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your local pharmacist or health care provider to obtain professional advice relevant to your specific circumstances.