Hyperactivity, short spans of inattention and lack of concentration are three main characteristics of ADHD. The other characteristics are: the child may tend to day dream instead of focusing on his work, and be impulsive and aggressive on the playfield. The disorder is commonly observed in preschoolers or children who are just beginning their first grade.
Unlike other disorders that afflict children, ADHD is difficult to diagnose. This is because even normal children show signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness at least once a day. However, in the case of normal children such symptoms last for a few hours only; after that they return to normal behavior. In the case of children suffering from the disorder the symptoms persist. In fact, they become more apparent over a period of time.
There are various causes that are associated with ADHD. Initially, it was thought that a brain injury leads to the development of ADHD. However, studies have shown that only a small percentage of children develop ADHD on account of a brain injury.
Scientists now believe that genetics too plays an important part in ADHD. Children whose parents or close relatives suffered from ADHD are more likely to get ADHD than children who have no ADHD history in their family. Smoking or drinking during pregnancy is also stated to be a cause
Children suffering from ADHD can find coping with daily work more difficult than other children. It is important to seek medical guidance for such children. Also, such children must be brought up in a more relaxed environment. They should not be scolded or threatened because the child will then go into a shell. Parents need to be more sympathetic and helpful than demanding or overbearing.
Research is now being done to find out the gene responsible for the disorder. A breakthrough in this area will go a long way to take care of this problem.