Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’s Effects on Daily Activities

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Introduction

It is hard to disagree that going to school, communicating with peers, obtaining new skills, and getting both positive and negative experiences may be challenging for the majority of children and adolescents. However, few people realize that it is even more difficult for young kids with certain mental disorders since their perception of the world or ability to perform ordinary tasks may be different.

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For children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, everyday activities can turn into complex processes where they cannot be successful without the help of their peers, teachers, and parents. Various symptoms and long- and short-term effects have an adverse influence on their development and daily experiences; that is why noticing early signs and getting the disorder under control is crucial.

Although some people consider ADHD in children just a signal of existing family issues but not an actual mental disorder, this condition is much more complex and has severe complications and effects on children’s everyday lives and school performance. These adverse effects may be reduced with the help of teachers’ interventions.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Definition and General Information

ADHD is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that is rather common for young kids and affects millions of them every year. Generally, it is first diagnosed in childhood and may continue into adulthood (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities para. 1). This mental condition involves a combination of persistent issues and symptoms that can lessen with age but never disappear completely (Mayo Clinic Staff para. 2). Thus, though it is impossible to cure ADHD, particular strategies that include early diagnosis, behavioral interventions, and medications may be relatively successful in helping kids to live a normal life.

Symptoms in Children

Specific signs allow parents and teachers notice that a young kid may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In most cases, the symptoms start to appear before the age of twelve and may even be noticed at the age of three (Mayo Clinic Staff para. 4). Overall, the two main features of this mental condition are hyperactive-impulsive behavior and inattention, as evident from the name of this disorder (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities para. 1).

The signs may be severe, mild, or moderate, and depending on the ADHD subtype, the majority of symptoms may either be combined or fall under inattention (predominantly inattentive) or impulsiveness and hyperactivity (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive) (Mayo Clinic Staff para. 6).

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The list of ADHD symptoms in young kids and adolescents includes the following. The patterns of inattention are making careless mistakes, forgetting about daily activities, being easily distracted, losing items like toys or pencils, avoiding homework, having difficulty paying attention to details, following instructions, and organizing activities, and not listening to tasks (Mayo Clinic Staff para. 7). The patterns of impulsiveness and hyperactivity are fidgeting, interrupting or intruding on other people’s activities, having difficulty waiting for one’s turn, staying seated, and doing a task quietly, talking too much, and being in constant motion.

Of course, some of these features are common for almost all children, especially in elementary school, because they are naturally energetic or have a higher activity level (Owens 193). However, kids with ADHD have an extended combination of these signs appearing in a more evident and severe way. Precisely this is why young children should not be diagnosed with or classified as having ADHD only because they are more active than their peers (Miller para. 4).

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects and Complications

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, living with attention deficit hyperactive disorder is challenging for young children and adolescents, especially those who are not homeschooled. This mental disorder can have specific long-term and short-term effects on kids’ lives and continue making them struggle through adulthood (Brown). For example, at all stages of development, such people are judged by their peers for not always being able to perform tasks quickly and successfully.

Kids with ADHD are known for having more injuries and accidents, which also undermines their health and may result in additional problems and conditions (Brown 360). According to Brown, all daily struggles reduce such kids’ self-esteem and can deprive them of interacting with and being accepted by other people (141). Additionally, Virring et al. mention that ADHD is associated with sleep problems, which usually leads to increased inattentiveness and reduced academic performance (731).

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Further, one of the most severe long-term effects is the increased likelihood of ADHD children developing addictions when becoming older. Unfortunately, some of them think that delinquent behavior like alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse makes major stress and the feeling of being not like other people less concerning (Mayo Clinic Staff). Medications and their positive effects can also be addictive. Thus, the risk of addiction is increased dramatically. Finally, Sjöwall and Thorell also mention that “ADHD is related to multiple neuropsychological deficits, even in adulthood” (1).

Furthermore, there is also a likelihood of being diagnosed with other conditions. Though ADHD does not necessarily cause them, it increases the risk. These disorders typically include Tourette syndrome or tic disorder, autism, mood or anxiety disorders, OCD, substance abuse, learning disabilities, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, ODD, or conduct disorder (Mayo Clinic Staff para. 16).

All these mental conditions make it even more complex for ADHD children and adults to fit into school or work settings and cope with their disorder. What is more, the overall symptoms may also increase in adulthood because the demands and responsibilities increase, and childhood hyperactivity may turn into extreme restlessness (Virring et al. 736). Finally, all these concerns and stress may lead to the development of depression, and children, teenagers, and adults can start feeling desperate because of not knowing how to deal with the situation. All these factors prove the necessity of early diagnosis and interventions as they can make the condition better and increase the likelihood of taking the symptoms under control.

Misperception of ADHD in Children

Unfortunately, not all people take attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children seriously, and there are several reasons for that. To begin with, some symptoms of trauma and ADHD are the same, which gives people the reason to doubt the existence and severity of this condition in most cases. For example, according to Bhandari, “going through a traumatic event can cause real attention problems,” and these two conditions may be confused in diagnosis (para. 3).

What is more, “scientists have also found that ADHD and childhood traumatic stress affect the same region of the brain: the prefrontal and temporal cortex, which controls emotions, impulses, and decision-making” (Bhandari para. 5). Since not all kids trust their parents and teachers with all their problems, especially the severe and scary ones, it makes the distinction between the two conditions more challenging.

Furthermore, the fact that undergoing a traumatic event increases the risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder allows some people to think that eliminating the event or memories about it can cure a child from ADHD (Brown 7). However, this is not true, and this mental condition is much more complex than just a result of a trauma that can be easily addressed. Additionally, thinking that if a kid has ADHD, there are certain issues or abuse in their family is also wrong, and these stereotypes can worsen the child’s condition.

ADHD Affecting Children’s Everyday Activities

As mentioned above, this mental condition interferes greatly with kids’ and teenagers’ daily tasks and activities. Various symptoms make it challenging for them to concentrate or understand exactly what to do, and the inability to stay seated for an extended period makes the tasks take up more of their time. Since school is a significant part of children’s and adolescents’ lives, kids with ADHD struggle with it as well.

Young Kids and Adolescents with ADHD in a School Setting

Being a student and having lessons is a vital experience for children with attention deficit disorder, so it is recommended for parents to find the best learning environment that would address all the needs of their son or daughter. Such schools are a better choice than distant learning or home education as studying and communicating with peers typically allows ADHD kids to develop unique social skills and feel accepted (Brown 73). Additionally, the need to comply with school rules and discipline will help students with ADHD better control themselves.

However, the learning process provides ADHD kids with more obstacles than an ordinary student, so if a child with this mental condition wants to be successful, they need to put in a lot more effort than their peers (Brown 56). Understanding peers and caring teachers who support such kids and perceive their difference as unique are probably the primary components of ADHD students’ successful learning experiences.

Learning Disabilities

Some learning disabilities common for children with this mental disorder make it challenging for them to be as successful as their peers. For example, according to Mayes et al., “dysgraphia is common at all ages in children and adolescents with ADHD” (787). Dysgraphia, which is impaired handwriting legibility, and “a weakness in graphomotor ability relative to other abilities” are prevalent in more than half and almost all students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, respectively (Mayes et al. 787).

Other learning disabilities involve dyslexia and dyscalculia, uneven motor development, nonverbal learning disorders, and difficulty remembering information and formulating thoughts (Brown 235-236).

Academic Performance

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has a direct negative impact on students’ academic success and performance. Such children’s symptoms and learning disabilities do not allow them to concentrate on their studies and be attentive enough (Brown). What is more, when they want to refine and practice their academic skills due to issues with completing individual assignments, they require help (Miller). According to Brown, peer tutoring is a great way to increase students’ success (58).

Further, “self-monitoring strategies have been found effective for increasing on-task behavior and academic performance among children with attention problems” (Brown 58). Therefore, even though the majority of kids and teenagers with ADHD have low academic performance, there are successful ways to improve the situation and help them achieve success.

School-Based Intervention Services and the Importance of Teachers’ Support

Since most children are diagnosed with ADHD around the age of twelve, they may start school before their symptoms appear. Thus, it is the teachers’ task to be attentive and careful and try to distinguish between laziness or extra energy and ADHD symptoms (National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities). Schools should provide such students with a healthy and safe learning environment where they can feel welcomed, accepted, and supported by everyone around them.

As for teachers, they can play a tremendous difference in kids’ lives with this mental condition (Brown 319). They need to focus on both needs and successes of ADHD children and help them accept themselves. Giving breaks and prompts to understand the task, cheering up, having simple rules, and being positive, warm, and encouraging are the steps required from teachers. Otherwise, conflicts with them may cause such students’ lower emotional engagement with school (Rushton 193).

Conclusion

To conclude, one may say that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is indeed an extended topic that requires further research. However, the existing studies make it possible to explore the issue and find out that this mental disorder certainly makes children’s lives much more complicated and has rather adverse influences on their daily tasks. ADHD students face more obstacles in their path to obtaining knowledge and success, so teachers and peers must help them.

Though the symptoms of this mental condition impact academic performance, specific practices and interventions are proven to be rather effective in enhancing it. Finally, the two most crucial parts of ADHD are the necessity of noticing early signs and remembering that this disorder does not worsen the kid but makes them unique.

Works Cited

Bhandari, Smitha. “Trauma, Kids, and ADHD: Is There a Link?WebMD. 2020. Web.

Brown, Thomas E. ADHD Comorbidities: Handbook for ADHD Complications in Children and Adults. American Psychiatric Publication, 2009.

Mayes, Susan D., et al. “High Prevalence of Dysgraphia in Elementary through High School Students with ADHD and Autism.” Journal of Attention Disorders, vol. 23, no. 8, 2019, pp. 787-796.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children.Mayo Clinic. 2019. Web.

Miller, Caroline. “What’s ADHD (and What’s Not) in the Classroom.Child Mind Institute. Web.

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “What is ADHD?CDC. 2021. Web.

Owens, Jayanti. “Relationships between an ADHD Diagnosis and Future School Behaviors among Children with Mild Behavioral Problems.” Sociology of Education, vol. 93, no. 3, 2020, pp. 191-214.

Rushton, Sophie, et al. “ADHD and Emotional Engagement with School in the Primary Years: Investigating the Role of Student–Teacher Relationships.” British Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 90, 2020, pp. 193-209.

Sjöwall, Douglas, and Lisa B. Thorell. “Neuropsychological Deficits in Relation to ADHD Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Daily Life Functioning in Young Adulthood.” Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 2019, pp. 1-9.

Virring, Anne, et al. “Sleep Problems and Daily Functioning in Children with ADHD: An Investigation of the Role of Impairment, ADHD Presentations, and Psychiatric Comorbidity.” Journal of Attention Disorders, vol. 21, no. 9, 2017, pp. 731-740.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder's Effects on Daily Activities." July 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorders-effects-on-daily-activities/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder's Effects on Daily Activities." July 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorders-effects-on-daily-activities/.


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PsychologyWriting. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder's Effects on Daily Activities." July 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorders-effects-on-daily-activities/.