Some kids have a lot of difficulty staying in their seats
for very long, and their attention wonders and they
can’t seem to concentrate on their school work. These
children may have attention-deficit hyperactivity
Someone with ADHD is unusually fidgety, impulsive, may
have a short temper, is easily affected by stressful
situations, and has trouble making and following plans.
Kids who have ADHD may have problems getting along
with other kids as well as problems with school work.
There may be brain differences in people with ADHD. For
example, the part of the brain in the right prefrontal cortex
may be smaller than usual. However, any brain differences
are small and they are not the same from one person with
ADHD to the next.
It is a little difficult to diagnose ADHD because there
are no medical tests, and it is sometimes hard to know
how fidgety is too fidgety, for example. Also, there are
some other conditions that may have symptoms that
look like ADHD such as lead poisoning, fetal alcohol
syndrome, epilepsy, allergies to medicines, not getting
enough sleep, and some types of brain damage.
PET scans of someone with and someone without ADHD. The red areas are areas of highest brain activity
The most common treatment for ADHD today is Ritalin.
Ritalin seems to work because it is a kind of amphetamine
that increases attention and decrease impulsiveness.
Children with ADHD taking Ritalin usually have better
school performance and better social skills.
There are also ways to change the environment of someone
with ADHD to help with symptoms. Some of the things
that can be done is to reduce distractions, have kids use
lists and schedules to organized their time better, have kids
practice pacing themselves, and having kids learn to relax.