NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER - ADHD
Premature Infants Particularly Vulnerable to ADHD
January 8, 2018
ADHD risk was confirmed to be higher in persons who were born very or extremely premature and/or were of very low or extremely low birth weight, with an OR that was 3.04 higher than controls (95% CI, 2.19-4.21). The more extreme the prematurity or low birth weight, the higher the OR. That is, persons who were born very/extreme premature and of very/extremely low weight were about 3 times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than those who had term, normal-weight births. Whereas the risk was doubled in the very premature/low birth weight, it was quadrupled in the extremely premature/low birth weight.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting kids from all backgrounds with symptoms that can continue into adulthood. ADHD is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. The diagnosis is either ADHD with Hyperactivity or without Hyperactivity. The term ADD is not used anymore. Things to consider for this age group of 13 – 17 years old are what does ADHD look like at this age and its special considerations. Is this a late diagnosis in the teenage years?
It’s not uncommon to have trouble sitting still, concentrating and being impulsive. But as we get older for some people this remains a problem that interferes with everyday life. Teenagers from 13 – 17 usually have an increase in work load from school, they are usually getting jobs and homelife demands increase, new skills are learned such as driving and navigating a world without your parents beside you. This might be a time that a few kids start to struggle and show more attention drawing behaviours.
Teenagers with ADHD may experience:
Distractible and lack of focus
Hyperactivity and fidgeting trouble sitting still
Heightened emotions and rejection sensitive to criticize more so than the average teen
Impulsive and poor decision making
Poor concentration and trouble finishing tasks
Disorganization and forgetfulness
This are just a few symptoms that are specific to teenagers
If your teenager has this diagnosis or you are seeking a diagnosis it’s important to remind yourself that there are so many really successful people that have ADHD and it does not limit the chances of living a happy life. However, without identification and proper treatment, ADHD may affect a teenager’s mood, confidence, school performance and job performance. It can leave parents frustrated because they are not understanding the true problem at the core of their behaviour problems. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.
For teens not diagnosed in childhood, obtaining a diagnosis of ADHD in adolescence can be a little more difficult for a few reasons.
It can be helpful for the teenager to understand this diagnosis so that they can start to understand their challenges and regain confidence and look for school and work options that can improve the overall quality of their life.
Many of your teens’ problems at home, at school, and in social settings are there because of neurological delays. ADHD is linked to problems with Executive Skills (the brain-based functions that help teens regulate behaviour, recognize the need for guidance, set and achieve goals, balance desires with responsibilities, and learn to function independently). Executive Thinking Dysfunction.
With treatment and sometimes a combination of medication, behaviour therapy, individual and family support, parents can help their teens avoid or minimize the risks for negative outcomes. New skills and techniques can be learned to help outcomes be more positive. Coming to terms with a new diagnosis or some escalation in behaviour can often put us in a hopeless frame of thinking and its not hopeless. The future can be very bright for these kids with the right help and with the involvement of the school they attend.
If you have concerns for your teen around ADHD behaviours, first see your GP who can refer you to a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Paediatician or other supportive care professionals.
If your teen is diagnosed with ADHD, your health care professional will discuss treatments, which may include medications. It is helpful to hear about all the options and their success rate and side effects and make an informed decision with your teenager and health care professional.
Famous people with ADHD
In Australia October is ADHD Awareness Month