Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that affects mostly young children and carries on throughout adulthood. Children might show signs of having a short attention span, hyperactivity, or over impulsive. Most children with ADHD are unaware of the reason of why they may feel a lack of control and might feel isolated. The average attention span development of young children usually develops in three stages. From being able to focus on a particular object for a long period of time to developing a wide attention span, and eventually progressing to the selective attention stage where they consciously switch their focus. For optimal success rate in a classroom setting, a child's final stage of development is vital. ADHD is seen more commonly in boys than girls, signs and symptoms are visible before they turn the age of seven.

Causes

- Brain infections, trauma to the head, and lead poisoning

- Use of drugs, high blood pressure, and infections during pregnancy

- Hereditary

- Neurological (brain) imbalance affecting areas that control focusing, planning and organization

 

Symptoms

There are three main signs associated with ADHD:

- Being hyperactive

- Displaying impulsive behaviour, having a short temper, and prone to accidents

- Hard to pay attention or focus on the tasks at hand

Potential Challenge

Academic:

- Acquire learning disabilities

- Deteriorating grades or scores on school tests

Cognitive:

- Difficulty in understanding the consequences of misbehaving

- Talking to themselves in a childish way

Emotional:

- Depression and lack of control of emotions

- Inability to follow instructions

- Inability to make friends

- Compulsive lying, stealing, and high-risk behaviour

- Poor social and problem-solving abilities

 

Treatment

The treatment of ADHD might be any of the following or the combination of both:

- Diet and nutritional changes to improve general health, which may help reduce the symptoms of ADHD

- Educating the child and his/her family on behaviour changes

- Medication to control chemical imbalance in the brain and target brain area responsible for focusing and self-control

- Psychological counselling to help boost self-esteem

It is important to note that education and psychological treatments need to be used together with medication to ensure the best outcome.

Our Specialists

Dr. Chris Chong
Specialty
Neurology
Internal Medicine
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu

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