Dr. Sharon Aitken Unpacks ADHD
(24 Nov 2020)

Dr. Sharon Aitken Unpacks ADHD

Dr. Sharon Aitken Unpacks ADHD

Towards the end of the year every year, the world raises awareness for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. This is a time to celebrate all the progress that has been made in education and advocacy for the disorder. There is a great amount of misleading information and myths about the disorder, the biggest being that ADHD is not real. ADHD is in fact one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders to occur during childhood. 

Not all concentration problems are created equal: ADHD is a concentration problem but not all concentration problems are ADHD. ADHD is an underlying neurological problem that is usually well supported by medication (as advised by a psychiatrist or paediatrician). Concentration problems that are not related to ADHD, however have a myriad of sources. Medical problems such as sleep or absence seizures, diabetes, anaemia and auto immune disorders often create fatigue and therefore concentration difficulties.

Visual problems (acuity or muscle functioning) result in focusing issues (literally and figuratively) in the classroom, and the child needs to rest her eyes frequently, thus seeming distracted. With hearing problems (auditory processing, otitis media, or partial deafness) the child will have difficulty processing oral instructions and classroom content. He will then not be able to do his work properly or have to ask his classmate, then appearing distracted. Physical problems such as low muscle tone cause the child to fatigue quickly, slump over the desk and have difficulty completing tasks in time. Underlying language difficulties such as Dyslexia or receptive/expressive language problems means that the child takes longer to read, to process the meaning of language or to express herself orally or in writing.

These are just some of the difficulties that may present as concentration problems. That’s why a thorough psycho-educational assessment is needed before intervening and often a reason why medication is not working- the wrong concentration problem is being treated. 

Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can negatively affect an individual and their ability to remain focus. If you have noticed the signs and symptoms present, make sure to visit a healthcare professional, such as Educational Psychologist Dr. Sharon Aitken.

Check out Dr. Sharon Aitken's website for more info on the subject or to get in touch with her for help! 

Watch her full interview about the topic on Expresso Show: 

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