What is ADD or ADHD?
Attention Deficit Disorder...What is it? Bonnie Terry, America's Leading Learning Specialist is on FOX Morning News talking about ADD and ADHD.
To start with, it is important to note that ADHD isn’t a child’s fault and it's not a parent's fault either. Attention Deficit Disorder is a brain disorder that causes youngsters and adults to have trouble with concentration, ability to complete tasks, or plan for the future.
Attention Deficit Disorder affects a considerable amount of the population: 5% to 10% of the population. In a class of 30 students 10% of the 30 would be 3 students. There are a variety of types of ADD. It is not a one size fits all disorder. And, not all ADD children or adults have the hyperactivity component.
6 Types of ADD or ADHD
Dr. Daniel Amen has done brain spect imaging and classifys ADHD (attention deficit disorder) in 6 different ways.
- Classic ADD: the overall symptoms plus hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity.
- Inattentive ADD: the overall symptoms plus low energy and motivation, spacey, and internally preoccupied.
- Over-focused ADD: the overall symptoms plus cognitive inflexibility, trouble shifting attention, stuck on negative thoughts or behaviors, worrying, holding grudges, argumentative, oppositional, and a need for sameness.
- Temporal Lobe ADD: the overall symptoms plus a short fuse, misinterprets comments, periods of anxiety, headaches or abdominal pain, history of head injury, family history of rages, dark thoughts, memory problems, and struggles with reading
- Limbic ADD: the overall symptoms plus chronic mild sadness, negativity, low energy, low self-esteem, irritability, social isolation, and poor appetite and sleep patterns.
- Ring of Fire ADD: the overall symptoms plus extreme moodiness, anger outbursts, oppositional, inflexibility, fast thoughts, excessive talking, and very sensitive to sounds and lights.
Other doctors classify ADD in these 3 ways:
- Combined Type which is a combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
- Hyperactive and Impulsive Type where children or adults are both hyperactive and impulsive but can pay attention.
- Inattentive Type which used to be known as ADD. These children are not overly active. They don’t disrupt the classroom or other activities. This is the child or adult that may seem to stare off into space. They are usually compliant so you don’t even realize they have an attention deficit disorder. There symptoms are often not noticed in the classroom.
The important thing to note here is that no matter what type of ADD or ADHD children or adults have, they may not perform as consistently as peers who have no problems with focus and concentration.
What are the common symptoms of ADD or ADHD?
1. Attention span difficulties 2. Distractibility 3. Impulsivity 4. Restlessness – fidgets or squirms in their seats 5. Doesn’t seem to listen to instructions 6. Have problems completing things
What are the Treatment options for ADD or ADHD?
First remember that attention deficit disorder, no matter what type, isn’t a child’s fault. It is no one's fault and there are many things you can do to live well with it. Treatment Options 1. Diet 2. Behavioral Therapy 3. Supplements 4. Medication 5. Tutoring - Educational Support 6. Improve Parenting Skills I always say to try everything else first, but if you need medication you need medication. If your child needed eye glasses you wouldn’t deprive them. If they needed a hearing aid, you wouldn’t deprive them. So if you have done everything and still need medication, do it. But remember, medication is not used alone. You still need to work on behavior, classroom as well as home management – at home you will want to do short activities that build skills – that will help your ADHD child with the instruction that is often missed due to the inattention in the classroom.
What can you do at home to help your ADHD Child?
Additionally, things you can do at home are to provide short quick activities that will also improve your child’s skills. Hands-on games will also improve your child’s attention span. Some great ones are checkers, chess, playing cards – even fish or The Math Zone as well as board games like the Comprehension Zone, and The Sentence Zone. There is a hands-on exercise – Brain Efficiency Exercise that you can do to help with listening skills. This easy exercise helps you to focus attention on hearing and relaxes tension in the cranial bones for clearer focus. It also improves your ability to focus on relevant information. We teach parents how to do this as well as other tips and tricks to help their ADD or ADHD child in our coaching program Awaken the Scholar Within.
Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and best selling author with over 35 years of experience. She is the CEO of Bonnie Terry Learning, one of the fastest growing high-level education companies specializing in giving a 2 – 4 year advantage in reading, writing, and math to LD, dyslexic, ADHD, and gifted children.