Information on ADHD for Children – Question and Answer – brief version
What is ADHD?
People with ADHD have brains that may function a little differently in some ways. The flow of signals in their brains may not work as smoothly or as fast, even when people feel that their brain is moving super-fast. Having ADHD does not mean that you are not as smart as everyone else. Your brain just works a bit differently.
Types of ADHD
ADHD is not always the same for everyone who has it. It can be mild or more severe and it can show up in different ways. The type or presentation that you have depends on the symptoms or problems that you have.
The three major symptoms of ADHD, or things that children with ADHD may have trouble with are:
- Paying attention
- Staying still (when you have trouble staying still it is called hyperactivity)
- Stopping to think before they do things (when you don’t stop and think before doing something it is called impulsivity)
Having difficulty controlling your emotions especially when frustrated or angry can also be a symptom of ADHD.
How Does ADHD Affect Kids?
ADHD can affect children in many different ways. Some of these ways are:
- Feeling like your thoughts are racing
- Often interrupting others
- Not being able to stop your brain from switching channels
- Having a brain that likes to daydream
- Getting distracted easily
- Not being able to finish your work
- Trouble with printing and writing
- Putting things off that you need to do
- Losing things
- Having trouble sleeping
- Having trouble staying still
- Not being able to slow down and think before you do things
- Getting angry and frustrated more than other kids and not being able to express those feeling in the way that others like.
How did I get ADHD?
ADHD is usually something that you are born with. It is not something you can catch or chose to have.
Medication is not magic. It does not cure ADHD or make it go away for good. Medication just makes it easier for people with ADHD to do the things that they need to do. Medication can help you to pay attention in school, stop day dreaming, and help you to slow down, if you react impulsively. Some kids who move around all the time, say it helps them to stay still, when they really need to.
Other Things That can be Helpful
There are many other things that you and the people around you can do, besides medication that will help with your ADHD. Some of these are:
- Learning all you can about ADHD
- Talking to your parents and teachers about your feelings
- Having a schedule and routine so you know what to do when
- Working as a team with your parents and teachers
- Using strategies at home to help you get things done and help everyone get along better at home, like charts that remind you to what you need to do and when you need to do it
- Having the school make changes to help you learn and get your work done
- Exercise and a healthy balanced diet can help your brain work at its best
- Mindfulness has also been shown to be helpful
How Do I Tell my Friends about ADHD?
Telling your friends about ADHD can be a good thing. It will help them to understand you better. There are books and videos you can show them, or your parents can help you to explain.