1.2 Experiencing ADHD
ADHD can be extremely debilitating, and children diagnosed with the condition are at a higher risk of having learning, behavioural and emotional problems throughout their lives compared to those without the condition (Barkley, 1997; Harpin, 2005). In Activity 1 you will get some insight into how ADHD may be diagnosed and experienced.
Activity 1 Introduction to ADHD in children
Watch Video 1 ADHD in children: Nip in the Bud [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] [open this link in a new tab/window so you can easily return to this page after viewing the video] in which Dr Iris Rathwell from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust discusses the diagnosis and impact of ADHD in children. Then answer the questions below.
Which key symptom is mentioned in the video and how is this characterised?
The key symptom is difficulty in maintaining attention. This is characterised by listening difficulties, not following instructions and making careless mistakes in their work. Children may also be distracted and easily bored, have a tendency to daydream, and may not finish tasks.
What behaviours are the most detrimental in terms of safety?
These behaviours include risk taking, engaging in behaviour without thinking about whether it is safe and having no sense of danger.
Why is it difficult to spot anxiety and depression in children with ADHD?
It is because the disruptive behaviours become the focus.
What are the key requirements for a diagnosis of ADHD?
Difficulties must be present at home and at school.
It is perhaps not surprising that many individuals with ADHD will also have problems related to social functioning (Cantwell, 1996; Wehmeier et al., 2010).
Difficulties with social interactions, both with peers and family members (Flicek, 1992; Barkley, 1997), are often used to provide an assessment of functional impairment, which is a requirement for ADHD diagnosis in addition to the core symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The problems with social interaction, as well as the core symptoms of ADHD, can have a substantial impact on family members, especially parents and caregivers.