Thursday, April 7, 2011

ADHD - A working Definition

A little disclaimer: I am a Mom, not a medical professional. Every child and every situation is different. These are my own observations and opinions.

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
~ Albert Einstein

Here is what I knew about ADHD before I ever picked up the first bit of outside information.
  • People who live with ADHD can move, move, move never stopping, until they drop into bed at night.
  • People who live with ADHD can (and sometimes prefer) to do 6 things at once.
  • It gets worse with stress and excitement.
  • It runs in the family.
So I decided to do a little research to help me understand these people I live with and love.  Here is what I learned:

    What is ADHD?
    Science thinks that people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) use their brains differently.  The brain handles neurotransmitters such as Dopamine differently. 

    What are the symptoms of ADHD?
    • Inattention
      • Distraction
      • Difficulty focusing
    • Hyperactivity
      • Figiting
      • Talking non-stop
      • Trouble sitting still
    • Impulsivity 
      • Interrupt conversations
      • Trouble waiting 
      • Say things without thinking 
    What causes ADHD? 
    Science thinks there are several possible causes for ADHD including genetics, lead exposure, brain injury, and low birth weight

    Is there a cure for ADHD?
    No, but  symptoms can wane as the individual gets older.

    Are there treatments for ADHD?
    Yes, but there is no cut and dry answer.  Drugs, diet and behavioral therapy are common options.   Many people feel strongly about one treatment or another. 

    That is where I will leave it for now.  I am still researching to find out more and understand more.

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