Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD for short, is a long term condition that is characterised by trouble paying attention or concentrating, periods of high activity and a leaning towards impulsiveness. It is a common disorder in childhood and can persist well into adulthood and can mean the sufferer struggles with home life and has problems at school as well as work in later life.
Children with ADHD were often considered naughty and disruptive but the condition is real and can be diagnosed by a qualified health professional. While no cause has been properly found for it, research suggests that it could be due to structural or chemical differences in the brain.
What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?
ADHD typically occurs in children around the age of 7 years but can often go undiagnosed until adulthood. It is characterised by a number of symptoms, including:
All these might quite easily be normal characteristics of any child at one time or another. The difference in ADHD is that it becomes a long standing issue which then requires a medical diagnosis from a qualified practitioner. It’s more than just a child being naughty or going through a phase.
Is it a Disability?
A disability is usually defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial effect on someone’s daily living and their ability to carry out normal, day-to-day activities many of us take fr granted. The experience of ADHD is different for each individual and many with the condition learn to cope and lead full and active lives. In a smaller number cases, the condition persists and continues to be an issue and may require medication or other mental health care interventions.
Whether you child’s ADHD is classed as a disability will depend on them being diagnosed appropriately. For many people this can affect whether they get assistance and social security payments to help with the condition.
This can also be problematic in adulthood and many places don’t consider ADHD for interventions such as disability allowances. You have to prove that it is having a severe impact on your ability to seek work and function in your day to day living.
Most people who care for or know a person with ADHD will tell you that it is indeed a disability and that support is needed. Looking after someone with this condition can be just as wearing and challenging as helping someone with a physical disability such as spina bifida or multiple sclerosis or a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety disorder.
Getting Support for ADHD
The good news is that there are plenty of support organisations that are focused on helping people with ADHD whether it’s the carers of children or adults trying to come to terms with their condition. Joining support groups can give you access to valuable information and help with getting allowances such as disability payments if you are due them.