What you need to know about Childhood ADHD

The new hit Ramadan show “Khaly balak men Zizi”starring Amina Khalil, Mohamed Mamdouh and Rim AbdelKader (Tito) shed light on a very important topic: ADHD.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, that causes above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. The estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey,1 is 6.1 million (9.4%). Recently, more and more people care about mental disorders and particularly ADHD due to the influence of media: Dory from Finding Nemo, cartoon character Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, Dug from Disney movie Up, but alsoMaria from Sound of Music.

ADHD is divided into three different types: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, combination type.

First of all the inattentive type: limited attention span, distractibility, forgetfulness, or procrastination. People with inattentive ADHD make careless mistakes because they have difficulty sustaining focus, following detailed instructions, and organizing tasks and activities. They are easily distracted by external stimuli and appear not to listen when you speak. 

Next,  the hyperactive-impulsive type; the child is restless and fidgety while doing any and all quiet activities, interrupts and “bugs” other people, and gets into trouble frequently. Always running from place to place, blurting out comments at inappropriate times, interrupting conversations or speaking out of turn and trouble waiting for a turn or standing in line are all signs of this type of ADHD.

Last but not least, the combination type. As its name suggests, children with combined ADHD demonstrate symptoms of inattention and symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

I know what you’re all thinking: I’ve had ADHD for my whole entire life without knowing it?! Anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms you’re your behavior was/is abnormal, the wisest decision is to seek help. ADHD diagnosis involves having a medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to rule out other problems with symptoms like ADHD. It usually includes a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child from parents, teachers, and sometimes, the child.

Scientists are studying causes and risk factors in an effort to find better ways to manage and reduce the chances of a person having ADHD. In addition to genetics, possible causes and risk factors could be: brain injury, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery, low birth weight,…

When it comes to its treatment, we have a few options. Stimulants and nonstimulants are widely used, but could have severe side effects like hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and even seizures. This is exactly why doctors prefer therapeutic treatments (when possible) such as psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, social skills training, support groups and parenting skills training for parents.

Under certain circumstances, support is needed at school. This is when a shadow teacher steps in: the role of the shadow teacher is to provide additional support, throughout the school day, academically and psychologically, to those students; they help filling in the gaps that exist in the learning process, helping the student build self-confidence, promoting interaction in the classroom, and ensuring the student stays focused in the classroom. The shadow teacher also helps the student be prepared and organized for class, helps the student with the approaches to learning and reminds him/her to be a responsible and committed student. These are all symptoms of Inattentive-Type ADHD; they are not personal defects.


If you are diagnosed with ADHD, we all stand by you and celebrate you courage (every day for a matter of fact) in October, ADHD awareness month. And don’t forget, you’re not on your own, even your celebrity crushes have ADHD, I’m talking about Adam Levine, Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton, Howie Mandel,…

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