In general, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by three major categories of symptoms, which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. With a child or adolescent diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) you will observe the same type of behavior without the hyperactivity.
Abnormal levels of these behaviors will be noticeable quite early in a child’s life with some children exhibiting these symptoms as early as preschool. However, most of these children won’t be diagnosed until the early primary school years since many young children will have mild symptoms similar to these behaviors. This makes it extremely difficult to diagnose ADHD or ADD until the age when the maturity of the child rules out normal developmental behavior.
By the time a child reaches the teenage years they have usually been diagnosed and treated for several years. However there are times when the behavior may actually go unnoticed or misdiagnosed and the untreated child reaches the difficult teen years not knowing or understanding what is wrong with them. These kids especially the ones with the inattention problem without the other symptoms can have very low self-esteem by the time they become teens as they have usually been told for many years that they are just lazy or that they don’t try hard enough.
Each child with ADHD will have different symptoms and different degrees of these symptoms and these may also vary depending on the setting at the moment, the circumstances of the situation, and the demands placed on the child’s self control. This only adds to the difficulty in diagnosing and treating kids with these types of disorders. There are also those adults who still believe these symptoms to be parental problems and not a true childhood disorder and therefore many other children are left untreated.
There is also another problem teens with ADHD or ADD face. Often children who have received help for ADHD or ADD will be removed from treatment when they reach the adolescent years even though this can be the time when treatment is most important. As recent studies have shown, children don’t outgrow there need for help at this age it’s just that there body functions change as they mature making it necessary to switch to different treatments that will be effective in controlling their behaviors.
If you’re a parent of a teenager who was diagnosed and began treatment at a young age with ADHD or ADD and the treatments aren’t as effective as they once were don’t just stop treatment and assume they have outgrown the need for help with their disorder. Instead continue to seek the proper help for your child as there are treatments available for teens as they approach this difficult time period and also on into their adulthood. As research now shows that children and teens with ADHD grow into adults with ADHD. This is not a disorder that magically disappears as the child reaches adulthood. The treatments may change but the disorder remains.
If you have an adolescent that has been overlooked and is exhibiting the symptoms of ADD but has never been diagnosed, it’s never to late to get help and treatment for your youngster so find out all you can about ADHD and ADD and reach out for treatment today. There is help in the way of therapy, medication and even some ground breaking work in the fields of nutrition and biochemical treatments for children, adolescents and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.