What is ADHD and how to spot the symptoms of the disorder


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, takes form in different ways within millions of children and adults across the nation.

According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, ADHD "is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the regulation of a particular set of brain functions and related behaviors."

Dr. Ronald Kent of Hattiesburg Clinic Connections specializes in ADHD and he said the disorder is made up of multiplexes. “ADHD is really made up of two separate complexes. One is the inattention part and one is the hyperactive impulsive part. To make a diagnosis of ADHD, you really have to have what the Academy of Pediatrics puts out as six to nine of the listed symptoms of inattention and or six to nine of the hyperactivity [impulse] and you have to have significant problems in the area of performance,"

The question remains -- How can parents or teachers spot a child's ADHD symptoms? “The worse place you can have ADHD is in the classroom. You’re asked to sit for a long time, doing something you are not particularly interested in – with a whole lot of distraction around you,”

What about adults?

“The criteria say you have to have symptoms before the age of twelve. So really to make a diagnosis in an adult, it’s really you should see some signs of ADHD in the childhood time of a person’s life. Even though you may not have significant problems until you get to be an adult,”

Dr. Kent shared the most common type of ADHD is the combination of hyperactivity [impulse] and inattention. In fact, he recently treated a patient for the same combination disorder.

“My last patient I just saw, she had more promblems with the inattention, but one teacher in particular had more problems with the hyperactivity and [impulse] in their class too – and she was having significant problems in multiple areas in the classroom. So it was affecting her performance,” he shared during the interview.

According to a 2011-2012 CDC report, approximately 6.4 million American children were diagnosed with ADHD and according to the 2011 CDC data, 10.9 percent of children in Mississippi had current ADHD -- which ranked Mississippi as the 13th state for children with the current forms of the disorder.

“Now the majority of children with ADHD, it’s a genetic tendency. You’ll see some signs of ADHD in somewhere in their family. So they are born with it,” he said it's common for adults to recognize their own symptoms after their child is diagnosed with the disorder. “I had a father here today, for a visit that said, I think I struggle with this too. And I told him when you have a child, that has ADHD, you increase your chances as an adult from about five percent to about twenty five percent. So just the fact that it was in your family makes you more likely to have that diagnoses,”

With research data and observations from doctors around the country. There are still people who does believes that ADHD is not real. “One of the big myths is that it doesn’t exist. Just be very practical about it and – not getting defensive about their child being diagnosed with ADHD,"

Dr. Kent stated there is no reason to feel guilty or avoid finding help for a child who potentially may have ADHD because, the answer to those curiosities may determine that child's behavior and future health.

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