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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness that usually affects young boys. It impairs the learning abilities of the child by preventing the child from being able to concentrate on a task and regulating social behavior and making the child hyperactive.

It is estimated that 3 to 5 percent of children worldwide suffer from this disease. In the US, however the figure stands at 9% of total children.  This roughly translates to a total of 2.4 million children.
A lot of research has been carried out to determine the causes of AHDH. A number of theories and possible causes have been identified and after extensive research, scientists have established that the primary cause of ADHD is genetic influence or predisposition. More stress is being paid on coping with children with AHDH and their inherent learning difficulties.

Society, behavioral therapists, schools, teachers and parents are addressing the complexities arising out of the situation.

The main symptoms of ADHD are lack of attention, hyperactivity and impulsive nature. These symptoms can be noticed in the early stages of the child's life. Even though some normal children may have some of the symptoms that children with ADHD have, the symptoms are not so apparent and severe in nature as is the case with children with ADHD.

A hyperactive or impulsive child will show following symptoms

* Feeling uncomfortable, continuous movements of hands and legs even when seated
* Shouting, running, jumping on the seat where quite or calm behavior is required
* Fast reactions on half-ended questions
* Feeling uncomfortable while waiting for his or her turn to speak

A major symptom of ADHD is inattention where the child will show the following symptoms

* Easily gets disturbed unnecessary sounds and sights
* Makes careless mistakes, as it is hard for such a child to pay attention to details
* Forgets things like toys, bags or pens
* Becomes irresponsible and may not complete work on time
* Slow reflexes and motor skills
* Takes more time to respond to anything, as compared to other children

Coming back to the causes of ADHD, certain theories have been discarded, as these do not have any scientific foundation. It was believed at a time that excessive consumption of sugar leads to ADHD. The truth is that excess sugar may result in hyperactivity, but not at the level of ADHD.
It is a matter of concern that much more needs to be done to treat children with this disorder. A number of children with this disorder are not getting the treatment that they deserve. Children without health insurance are more likely to be deprived of necessary treatment than children who are covered by a health insurance scheme.

Children of the poor or economically weaker sections who suffer from ADHD need more help from government and society.