An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD. Some children really do have the condition, whereas many children “diagnosed” might not. The children may be presenting with very similar symptoms – such as the inability to focus or concentrate – or constant fidgeting – but these symptoms can often be present for reasons other than ADHD.
For example, if a child is not sleeping enough, or their sleep is of poor quality – they might then be tired the next day. When an adult is tired, they tend to slow down and become sluggish. When a child is tired – it can be the opposite. They can be fidgety, “wired”, lacking in concentration or the ability to focus. These symptoms are very similar to ADHD – so a constantly overtired child might sometimes be diagnosed with ADHD by mistake. Ritalin as a medication will make such a child worse – since one of the side-effects of Ritalin can be insomnia.
The Essential Parent Primary School Sleep and ADHD course is trying to tackle this problem – a growing one in the UK, and huge in the USA. The course suggests simple steps you can take as a parent to rule out many of the various issues that might be giving your child symptoms similar to ADHD. Dealing with these issues might well remove those symptoms – and the apparent case of ADHD altogether.