What is Hyperactivity?
Can you imagine what it would be like to hear people talk to you this way every single day? If you can imagine it, or if it sounds just like what you're used to hearing, then you know what it's like to have ADHD. Those letters stand for a condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Kids who have ADHD are not bad, lazy, or stupid. They have a disorder that means they may have problems paying attention or sitting still in their seats. They can also act on impulse - this means doing things without thinking about them first. Kids with ADHD may spend a lot of time in the principal's office. Sometimes they do things that cause them to get hurt. They might change their friends a lot.
A kid might have a greater chance of developing ADHD if one of his or her relatives already has ADHD or another type of behavior problem. But no one is sure why anyone has ADHD, although scientists and doctors think that it probably has to do with differences in the way people's brains work. No one gets ADHD on purpose, so it isn't ever anyone's fault. And ADHD isn't contagious - you can't catch it from someone like the flu.
Are the Signs of ADHD?
Sometimes they can be disorganized, distracted, or forgetful. They might lose things and have trouble finishing assignments. They may wiggle around in their seats, move around a lot, talk too much, or interrupt other people's conversations.
It's important to remember that everybody does these things once in a while. It doesn't mean you have ADHD.
Happens When a Kid Is Diagnosed With ADHD?
But children who have ADHD need more than just medicine. They also need help learning how to change the way they act. Some kids with ADHD can learn to do this by using relaxation therapy or behavioral therapy. In relaxation therapy, counselors teach kids how to relax and stay calm by doing deep-breathing exercises and relaxing different muscle groups.
Behavioral therapy helps kids with ADHD by teaching them to set goals for themselves and by using rewards to help them reach those goals. Teachers can give a kid with ADHD a reward for sitting still in class, for example. And parents can do the same thing at home, by rewarding their children for paying attention, completing their chores, or keeping track of their things. Kids with ADHD may need extra help learning how to do things other kids find easy.
Kids who have ADHD can become depressed or anxious. So for many kids with ADHD, the key to success is not only following the treatment plan from the doctor, but working to build good friendships with other kids, too. Many kids with ADHD find that their symptoms get better as they get older. Adults with ADHD can have happy lives, and they can be very successful in whatever they decide to do.