EXPERIENCING a mental disorder is also common in children. As discussed in my last two columns, most mental disorders in children are mood disorder (depression), disruptive behavior disorder (oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder) and anxiety disorder.

Another noted mental disorder in children is the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a medical condition that affects how well someone sits still, focus and pay attention (kidshealth.org). Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it.

Children who are diagnosed with ADHD usually lack focus, have behavioral issues and hyperactivity. It makes it difficult for children to inhibit their spontaneous responses, from movement to speech to attentiveness.

ADHD is categorized into three subtypes –inattentive type, a hyperactive-impulsive type, and a combination of both (which is the most common).

Here are some signs and symptoms of ADHD, according to kidshealth.org:

Inattentive type:

-Has trouble paying attention to details or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities

-Has difficulty staying focused on tasks or play activity

-Has apparent listening problems

-Has difficulty in following instructions

-Has problems with organization

-Avoids or dislikes tasks that require mental effort

-Has a tendency to lose thing like toys, notebooks, or homework

-distractibility

-forgetfulness in daily activities

Hyperactive-impulsive type:

-Fidgeting or squirming

-Difficulty remaining seated

-Excessive running or climbing

-Difficulty waiting for a turn or in line

-Problems with interrupting or intruding

A combined type (most common)

Consider for diagnosis if:

-A child displays behavior from one of the three subtypes before age 12

-The child’s behavior is more severe than in other kids of the same age

-The behavior existed for at least six months

-The behavior must happen in and negatively affect at least two areas of a child’s life (school, home, childcare, or even friendships)

If you want to help a child with ADHD, the first step is to have him/her evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Please call Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Bacolod Office at 433-8868 for inquiries.*