Lack of attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are common traits in children. However, these are the primary signs of ADHD in children. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder whose hyperactivity patterns, inattention and impulsivity interfere with a child’s functions and development.
Types of ADHD
Children with ADHD may share similar traits. However, sometimes the symptoms vary from one individual to the next. Additionally, the severity varies. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD are classified into three major categories.
a) Predominantly Inattentive (ADD)
ADD is primarily linked to inattentiveness. Children who are placed in this subtype of ADHD are easily distracted and are not attentive. However, they are not impulsive, neither are they hyperactive.
Common attention issues identified in children identified in this subtype of ADHD are not disruptive. The children do not develop concerning behavioural issues.
b) Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
Children with this type of ADHD are impulsive, talk non-top, interrupt conversations, and are often on the move. Children who fall under this category have a somewhat different personality from children who only suffer from attention issues in children.
While the children with ADD easily drift off and can even be overlooked in a class, those who are hyperactive and impulsive are noticeable. They want to be the centre of attention and often struggle with impulse control.
Such children mask their loss of interest by diverting attention into something else that is likely to be disruptive, so teachers and parents can’t miss the moment they do something impulsive.
c) Combined type: Hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention
This category involves more than attention issues in children. Those with this type of ADHD meet the criteria of this disorder. It is also easier to diagnose those with all the signs of ADHD in children. Unfortunately, a child in this category has severe behavioural issues that may interfere with his quality of life. Early diagnosis increases the possibility of behavioural management.
Other causes of inattention in children
Besides ADHD, there are other causes of inattention in children. Since the symptoms are similar to signs of ADHD in children, it is important to consider the possibility of other causes of attention issues in children. They include;
- Sleep deprivation
- Vision and hearing problems
- Sensory processing disorder
- Auditory processing disorder
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Thyroid problems
Fortunately, some of these causes can be rectified with treatment, while others, like sensory processing disorder, are managed with therapy. Parents must seek the right diagnosis for attention issues in children.
Even when it seems obvious that you see signs of ADHD in children, a diagnosis will serve as a confirmation. This will help direct the best treatment options. Some children with ADHD, especially those with a combination of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, require medication. Those with one of the signs of ADHD in children receive therapy to help them manage their challenges.
Parents and teachers are also encouraged to pay close attention to children showing signs of ADHD. Instead of condemning these children for attention patterns that they are not responsible for, caregivers can work around these issues. Introducing breaks during lessons and making activities fun and interactive can help a child with ADHD become more attentive and less impulsive.