Need to touch everything, make noise, always play with something in their hands, forget, lose their things… Between 3 and 5% of children have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder called ADHD. And boys are three times more likely to be affected than girls. Generally diagnosed in childhood, this disorder very often continues to manifest itself into adulthood.
There are two main symptoms:
Inattentionwhich corresponds to difficulty concentrating or remaining focused on a task or activity;
Hyperactivity (excessive activity) associated with impulsivity (act before thinking about the consequences);
Sometimes the symptoms are combined.
A combination of causes
“Like all mental disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is the result of a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors,” explains the Douglas Institute, Canadian university center specializing in mental health.
However, several studies indicate that dopamine plays an important role in attention, task orientation and action. “It is therefore possible that a disruption of the activities of the nervous system linked to [ce neurotransmetteur] plays a role in the appearance of the disorder. »
Helping children and parents
Support is provided on several levels. Specific medications, psychoeducation of children and their parents, learning of social skills, specialized school supervision and individualized psychotherapy are often combined.
In addition, rehabilitation sessions may be indicated (speech therapy, psychomotor skills, cognitive remediation). Finally, school adjustments can be considered, even if not all establishments are able to implement them.
Health insurance specifies, however, that “there is no treatment that cures ADHD. A set of measures helps to reduce symptoms as much as possible. They also reduce the consequences of ADHD on the child’s development and on his relationships with those around him. »
If you think your child has ADHD, consult your doctor or pediatrician. He will guide you to a professional who can carry out his assessment.
For more information, you can also contact patient associations such as HyperSupers – ADHD France.