ADHD and Child Development

Children with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity face many difficulties as they grow up. As infants, those later diagnosed with ADHD are often described to have been excitable, irritable, colicky, or un-soothable. Often they are very physically active, easily distracted, and can be extremely sensitive to sights, sounds and touch, which can make traditional soothing methods seem ineffective.

In the toddler years, ADHD children often have a hard time dealing with frustration and so they tend to be overly emotional when their desires aren't met or when they experience failure. It's also common for the child's sleep patterns to be upset.

ADHD and Child DevelopmentBy preschool age, children with improperly treated ADHD appear excessively active, inattentive, emotional and/or impulsive. Such behaviour often provokes negative feedback from parents, care-givers, siblings and peers, just at a time when the child's self-image is taking shape. These children are often reprimanded for not trying hard enough, even though they often feel that they can't help themselves - which eventually fosters a negative self-image.

With the beginning of school, the ADHD child's difficulties often become more apparent. Difficulty concentrating and sitting still usually cause the child to lag behind his peers. Grades fall as the child develops a reputation for being either disruptive or withdrawn in class, while also possibly having trouble maintaining friendships.

Fortunately many of these problems can now be avoided through a combination of professional diagnosis, appropriate teaching methods, adapted parenting strategies, and an array of effective medications.