ADHD has been called a learning disability but, actually, it’s a learning disorder. There’s a big difference.
A learning disability makes it difficult to understand whatever is being taught. ADHD, on the other hand, is a developmental disorder affecting the nervous system which causes a hyperactive condition and a short attention span.
ADHD is reportedly the most common psychiatric condition among children. It is estimated that it effects five per cent of the worldwide population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. One out of every 30 children has ADHD.
Two to four times more boys than girls are affected, and on average, at least one child in every classroom in the U.S. needs help for the disorder. And about 60 per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder into adulthood.
Although the cause of this condition is uncertain, common belief is that it can be passed from parent to child genetically.
Whether discovered in childhood or adulthood, ADHD is not easily diagnosed.
However it’s defined, ADHD can negatively impact your life and career.
ADHD sufferers often endure increased stress because they are unable to tackle a busy workload or complete projects under tight deadlines, says DeAndrea. And they’re often more likely to job-hop because of an uncontrollable restlessness and inability to plant strong career roots. In many cases, they wind up working independently from home.
The three general symptoms most commonly associated with ADHD are: 1. distractibility, 2. hyperactivity, and 3. Impulsivity.
At least 14 of the following behaviours have been associated with ADHD:
1. Underachievement, not meeting one’s goals
2. Difficulty getting organized
3. Chronic procrastination
4. Failure to pay close attention to details
5. A tendency to have inappropriate responses
6. Feelings of restlessness
7. Easily bored or distracted
8. Inability to process information
9. Impatience; low frustration threshold
10. Impulsiveness (verbal or in action)
11. Talking excessively
13. A tendency toward addictive behaviour
14. Low self-esteem
While there are many ways to cope with ADHD, there are no cures for this medical condition. Many experts contend that the best solutions are medication combined with psychotherapy, counseling and practical support. Others feel that a proper diet and a structured lifestyle can also help alleviate symptoms.
If you think you have ADHD, don’t attempt to diagnose and treat yourself. Start by researching the condition and learning all you can. Then find a competent and qualified professional to evaluate you.
The good news is that there is plenty of information about ADHD and many avenues for help. The tricky part is finding the most reliable and accurate sources.
Dana Wilson is a freelance writer.