ADD stands for Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADD and ADHD are mostly attention problems where the child has a hard time focusing and keeping their focus on the same thing for a long time. Sometimes ADD/ADHD will coexist with hyperactivity, but not all children with ADD/ADHD are hyperactivity. If your child is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, they will not grow out of it, there is a good chance that even as an adult they will have ADD/ADHD.

Children can be very spur-of-the-moment and raring to go, to a point where they may be more likely to get into accidents, since they do no think about the consequences and not know that they will get hurt.  What could be hyperactivity? Well it can be many things, here are some below;

having trouble sitting still/unable to stay in their chair/seat
they are usually running and climbing, even at the wrong times (weddings, funerals etc)
they cannot really play or do an activity where they are suppose to be quiet
they have a need to always be talking

It seems that more boys will have ADD/ADHD than girls, although girls still can have ADD/ADHD. The sign and symptoms will usually start before the age of 7, so the sooner your child is diagnosed the better. Kids that are more prone to have ADD/ADHD are usually the ones that have a troubled past, like;

their mother drugging when she was pregnant with them
abused in any form
ignored/left on their own
if they have moved around a lot, from foster home to foster home

But more specifically we do not know what causes or what exactly makes a child ADD/ADHD.

Some consequences of ADHD when left undiagnosed by a doctor; a child can be punished for their behaviour, teased and pushed aside by their family, teachers and peers. This can have a worsening effect on the child’s behaviour and their development. It will have a negative effect on the child’s confidence, self-esteem and create more family and social issues for the child. It does not matter how hard the child tries to improve themselves, if the child, parents and teachers are not aware that they have ADD/ADHD, the child will have difficulties and feel helpless.

One of the treatments for ADD/ADHD is medication. Now if your child is being medicated, then there should be an educational and behavioural plan. An education plan is when the teacher and/or the Special Needs teacher, makes a plan for the child in school. Such as, what the child needs to learn, how much time it will take and different ways to teach the child for them to learn. Also the behaviour plan is between the teacher/school and the child/parents about the ways the child is/can act in different situations. Some examples are: 

when the teacher is teaching
when they are doing group work
when they are in gym class

There are two types of medication a child with ADD/ADHD can be on, a stimulant or an antidepressant. Please be aware that there are some side effects to both types of medication, for the stimulant some side effects are:

not being able to sleep
their mood changes or mood swings
they can gain weight
if they have been on the medication for a long period of time, the medication can hinder the growth 

So it may be helpful for your child to take a break from the medication, over long weekends and/or summer vacation, but only under doctor supervision and/or approval. If your child is not on a stimulant but they are on an antidepressant, then please be careful of cardiac (heart) problems. Also keep all appointments with your doctor, so the doctor can check and monitor your child's heart rate.

Website Bibliography/References

Arcus, Doreen “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Who gets ADHD?, What causes ADHD?, Treatment.” Psychology Encyclopaedia (10 Aug 2010)

“Attention Deficit Disorder” Optometrists Network  (6 Aug 2010)

“Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder” Wikipedia
  (4 Aug 2010)

“What is ADD/ADHD”. A Canadian Resource on ADD/ADHD for Parents, Patients and Professionals (4 Aug 2010)


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