Before I made monumental changes in my life I used to strongly believe I had ADHD; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I have even asked my psychiatrist to send me an ADHD questioneer(which ofcourse I am yet to answer it).
I remember when I had lectures in class on ADHD and I was attentive just because I wanted to know if I really had ADHD or not(the irony)
It was in that lecture that I learnt that:
1. ADHD was formerly known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
2. It has two components; Attention deficit and hyperactivity
3. A child may present with predominant of either or both
4. (the most important of all) is that for ADHD to be diagnosed, a person must have exhibited these symptoms before the age of 7.
5. It is the commonest neuro behavioural disorder of childhood that affects 3-5% of school age children
6. It is commoner in boys than in girls
But one thing I have noticed in Nigeria(or parenting in general) is there is a lot of neglect that goes around raising kids that I feel could make this 4th criteria hard
A lot of kids that may have symptoms of ADHD such as hyperactivity that manifests as inability to sit still or attention deficit that might show up as having poor grades might be seen as the child being deliberately troublesome.
And the fact that ADHD occurs more in boys makes the matter even worse as social conditioning allows more for boys to be more “impulsive” or playful
So what might be seen as expected behaviour could actually be a manifestation of ADHD
But on the flip side, it might want to call our attention to any girl that seems to be too playful or hyperactive or impulsive
This complexity in parenting these sort of kids, brings to mind when Aisha Yesufu had to apologise to her son on children’s day. She admitted to being harsh on him for not doing well in school. Only to find out that her son actually had a learning disability(dyslexia) that prevented him from learning properly
This is even from an informed parent. What then do we expect of uninformed parents?
Can this criteria really stick?
And of course ADHD should not be seen as a learning disability as it is not. The reason why they tend to have poor scores is due to their inability to focus and stay sit during class not because they are deficient in any type of intelligence.
For one can hardly learn properly if one does not pay attention and that is one of the issues that those with ADHD often have.
Recently, ADHD has been gaining a lot of social media publicity and perhaps it could be the driver for why we now have Adult ADHD which means ADHD that was diagnosed in adulthood.
But one thing that I have come to personally realise is that what people often complain about(on social media) is forgetfulness and inability to concentrate and they easily jump to conclusion of an ADHD diagnosis
Not withstanding, I am not trying to dismiss anybody but all I am trying to say is to look into one’s daily habits(e.g not getting enough sleep atkeast 7-8hrs at night) and also look to other mental illnesses like depression and especially anxiety that could very much be held accountable for these symptoms.
Nevertheless, one can still have ADHD coexisting with these illnesses. So they are not mutually exclusive.
In case you have not noticed i will be writing about ADHD for the whole of this month.
In hope of creating awareness and providing accurate information.
Thank you for reading. See you next week with a more formal introduction.
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