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Children Living with a Learning Disability,
Does my Child have ADD or ADHD?

Interesting Fact:  Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps uses swimming as a way to deal with his major learning disability, ADHD.

Interesting Fact:  Jim Carrey used being a class clown when he was a child to deal with his ADD.  He said, “[it’s] hard for me to come down from what I do.”

What are the early signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & Attention Deficit Disorder in children?

The three behaviors that are signals of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.  While many children possess these traits to varying degrees, it’s how strong they are and the combination that should be the warning of a learning disability.  Hyperactivity is definitely the most common, but can also be the most misleading.  Just because a child is wild or out of control does not mean they suffer from ADD or ADHD.  Likewise, the quiet daydreamer that sits in the corner could be suffering from it.  Watch for things like not completing tasks before moving on to other things, losing interest easily, frequently loses things, and when your child says things without thinking first before considering if your son or daughter has a learning disability.

What testing should be done to determine if a child has a learning disability like ADHD or ADD?

Since Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder show up differently in each individual there is not a single, standardized test for all children.  As a result there is a broad range of criteria to determine a diagnosis.  To be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, a child must demonstrate a strong combination of the symptoms mentioned above.  During the analysis doctors will look at the severity of symptoms and  when or where the symptoms are most commonly demonstrated. 

What other diagnoses can be confused as Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

There are several learning disabilities that demonstrate similar symptoms as ADD or ADHD in children.  One that can commonly be confused for these disorders is bipolar disorder.  While there are distinct differences between the two they can be very subtle which can cause some confusion.  Some other symptoms to watch for are low blood sugar, sensory processing disorders, and hearing problems.  Each of these can lead to a child exhibiting signs of ADD or ADHD when they are actually dealing with a completely different learning disability.  Simply being moody, showing behavioral issues, or just children being kids also can lead to a misdiagnosis. 

If a child is diagnosed with ADHD or ADD can it be treated?

While a learning disability can’t be cured it can be treated to lesson symptoms in children.  Depending on the severity in each child, symptoms can usually be minimized with different treatments.

How is ADHD & ADD treated in children?

Medications, psychotherapy, and education or training are all ways Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or any other learning disability is regularly treated.  Some believe activitie such as drawing, exercise or anything that might keep the persons attention are most effective.  Since every case of ADD or ADHD is unique, treatment will be different for each child.  Each one can be extremely effective, but they can all have some site effects.  For most children it requires a combination of treatments that are modified over time to be the most effective.  Make sure to consult with doctors before trying any treatment to ensure it’s safe and effective.

How common is having a learning disability like Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for a child today?

ADD or ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral diseases in children.  Statistics show that 5% of children suffer from a learning disability with some studies even showing the percentage to be much higher.