October is ADHD awareness month, an opportunity to promote awareness and raise the profile of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder across the UK. It is an often misrepresented and sometimes misunderstood disorder that affects between 2% to 5% of school-aged children in the UK.
According to the NHS “ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.”
Symptoms tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old. The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems. People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.
It is estimated that approximately 7.2 percent of children worldwide have ADHD, while about 3.4 percent of adults are estimated to have diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental childhood disorders. For about half of the children with ADHD, the condition continues to clearly exhibit symptoms into adulthood, presenting a range of challenges across the lifespan.
“ADHD is a serious public health issue,” said Roxanne Fouché, Director of the ADHD Awareness Month Coalition. “October’s ADHD Awareness Month is a great opportunity to share reliable information about ADHD in children and adults, as well as highlight comprehensive treatment options and available resources to help people live well with ADHD.”
Many children can appear restless or inattentive at times, this is often completely normal and doesn’t necessarily mean they have ADHD. However, if you have concerns about your child’s behaviour, consult their teacher to see if they have noticed similar behaviour, the school may also have a special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) who is likely to be able to help. Otherwise, you could consult a GP if you believe your child’s behaviour is different to that of others of a similar age. This way your child can get the help they need to get them through day-to-day issues that may arise, what may appear basic activities or tasks, such as getting to sleep at night or being organised can be very difficult for those with ADHD.
National Today explain how to observe national ADHD awareness month:
- Get tested
You may have ADHD and not know it. If you’re prone to procrastination, have trouble focusing on a task, or otherwise lack motivation, you may have a form of ADHD. The World Health Organization offers a test with 18 questions that can help make a diagnosis.
- Share your story
The American Deficit Disorder Association invites those diagnosed with ADHD to share their stories so the public can see the human face of the disorder. The best way to reduce the stigma is for those challenged by it to share their stories.
- Provide support
ADHD associations throughout the country sponsor support groups for kids and adults who suffer from attention deficit disorders. Find out if there’s a local group in your area and learn what you can do to support efforts to bring the latest treatments to those who need them.