Attention deficit disorder, attention deficit syndrome, psychoorganic syndrome (POS), attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Children who suffer from ADHD find it difficult to concentrate – the distractibility is immense. It is noticeable that work that has been started is often not completed, which leads to problems especially in the school environment. Even if the intelligence is in the normal, sometimes even above-average range, the child cannot or only with great difficulty compensate for the deficits caused by a lack of concentration.
Children suffering from ADHD often attract attention through daydreaming and inattention. Often the ability to concentrate when working is poor, so that even with normal or above-average intelligence, learning gaps occur that are difficult to close. It is not uncommon for children with ADHD to also have dyslexia or dyscalculia, or dyslexia and dyscalculia.
In order to help the children, therapies must be targeted. Repriming and insulting the children does not change anything. All adults involved in the upbringing of the children are required to have patience and above all (self) control.
Consistent educational action, the setting up of and adherence to agreed rules is the top priority – even if it is difficult. Not every child who appears to be mentally absent is immediately classified as an ADD child. A warning must be issued against premature stigmatisation.
We recommend a wide range of diagnostics, which you can read about on our corresponding page: ADS Diagnosis. Due to the individuality of each symptomatology, the following catalogue of symptoms cannot claim to be complete. Furthermore, the occurrence of one or more symptoms in your child does not necessarily mean that he or she suffers from ADHD.
The diagnosis is complex and should be made precisely and by experienced diagnosticians. Children with ADHD appear to be permanently overwhelmed with stimuli and even if it does not appear so on the outside: they suffer from permanent stress. The ability to “filter” between important and unimportant information does not really seem to exist.
ADD children react to this overstimulation unconsciously and almost automatically with a “switch-off”, an escape into absence. There are some symptoms that can occur in both ADHD and ADHD children. These are for example: Beyond those symptoms, which can be both ADHD and ADHD-typical, other symptoms/behavioural problems often occur in people with ADHD.
- Short attention phases, lack of concentration and the associated rapid distractibility, forgetfulness and erratic, sometimes very moody behaviour. – low endurance
- Problems in the fine motor area (cramped and incorrect pin retention)
- Spatial positional stability (confusing the sides (right – left; possibly associated with dyscalculia) and thus confusing letters, similar sounding sounds etc. ; possibly associated with dyslexia)
- Developmental delays in motor skills (late learning to crawl, walk)
- Contact difficulties or unstable friendships (lack of distance, isolation, frequent conflicts)
- Problems to perform everyday actions in a controlled sequence, forgetfulness, absent-mindedness
- Problems finishing what has been started
- Low self-esteem
- Due to a constant lack of attention and concentration, the problems can spread to other areas of schooling, which can lead to dyslexia and dyscalculia, for example.
- Mental absence even when addressing directly
- “Not listening” in the sense of being absent
- The ability to carry out work within a reasonable time frame is difficult. – Forgetfulness
- Details are perceived only imprecisely. – Many careless mistakes
- Avoiding strenuous (concentration-intensive) tasks
- Very quiet, often gives the impression that “nothing matters”.
- Easy influenceability
- Dependence on other people
The term “dreamer” is used to describe ADD sufferers who seem particularly absent and lost in thought due to their attention deficit disorder. Especially with children this behaviour can seem as if they are living in their own dream world. The pronounced fantasy often associated with ADHD supports this impression.
The problem with dreaminess is that the person uses this state to escape the stimulus satiation of everyday life and isolate himself. Children miss learning material at school and adults find it difficult to complete tasks. Although this behaviour primarily disturbs very few people, in contrast to the hyperactivity and impulsiveness of ADHD, it restricts the person concerned enormously in his everyday activities and leads to problems at school and in development.
Concentration and attention training can help. It is almost impossible to detect ADHD in a baby or infant. The parents of children with an attention disorder can often notice certain conspicuous features in retrospect compared to children of the same age.
In the case of ADHD, for example, this would be constant crying, restlessness and the like. With ADHD this is much more difficult. Some parents report that their child was already absent as an infant, could only maintain eye contact for a short time or was distracted by food.
However, these signs are more than just uncertain and are caused by much more frequent infant symptoms, such as a subclinical cold. In addition, diagnosis at this age is not only uncertain, but in most cases it is also not useful because there is no standardized therapy for these babies. In the worst case, these children experience stigmatisation at a very early age, which then causes them more disadvantages than a possible ADHD.
In infancy, children already show more signs of attention deficit disorder, which parents can report in retrospect. Mental absence and distractibility while eating, playing and talking could be observed, but they are usually not noticed if they are not paid attention to. ADHD children are often calmer and more shy than their peers, and are therefore usually perceived as pleasant by parents and educators, and therefore do not represent a cause for concern, because despite the attention disorder there are no developmental delays or the like in most cases.
a the other behavioural disorders increase in this age group, a small “dreamer” is further submerged in the mass of “troublemakers”. However, as long as the children do not yet experience psychological stress, such as exclusion by others, they do not usually suffer from their ADHD at this age. Nevertheless, support could already be useful in order to increase attention and avoid problems at school later on, but the diagnosis is usually only made at school age or even later.
Asperger’s syndrome (an autism like disorder) and ADHD have completely different causes and develop differently. However, as both syndromes share a certain degree of social incompetence and psychological stress, symptoms of these categories can be very similar, such as social withdrawal/shymness or low self-esteem, even depression. Both also show concentration disorders, but these are easier to distinguish.
Depression and ADHD have a common symptom, lack of concentration, but this is clearly different in both disorders. More problematic is the fact that ADHD can become a major psychological burden, which in an above-average number of patients develops into depression over the years. Deciding at what point a depression starts and treating it accordingly is therefore the challenge for both patient and doctor.