It is important to understand that there is a difference between ADHD and children experiencing symptoms related to childhood anxiety and childhood depression. ADHD is neurophysiological in nature and unrelated to parenting or parental behavior. This does not mean that parenting doesn't have an impact on our child's adjustment or ability to cope more effectively with their disability. Quite often parents believe that their own behavior may be the cause of their child's emotional or behavioral struggles. Poor parenting or impulsive behavior on the part of parents can contribute to stress; however, in the case of ADHD it does not cause the disorder. For children experiencing childhood anxiety or depression parenting and parental behavior may well have a causative effect regarding their symptoms. Even when a child is demonstrating symptoms of anxiety or depression there is a likelihood that the child is physically predisposed to having such symptoms.
There are several areas of the brain which seem to have an impact on our behavior and inability to cope effectively. In addition certain neurotransmitters play an important role on our ability to focus our attention and inhibit impulsive behavior. Currently professionals identify three types of ADHD. These include: Inattentive Type, Hyperactive Type, and Combined Type. In the past we would say that a child had ADD or ADHD. It seems that the term ADD is now less used by professionals or diagnosing clinicians.
There are many things that we can do to help our child who is having difficulty with issues related to focus, behavior, or anxiety. One of the most important things is to get a correct diagnosis If we believe our child is coping with a mental health issue. No matter what the diagnosis it would be helpful to work toward improving parenting and family communications. Whatever we can do to reduce our own stress and help alleviate stress for our child will be helpful. I liked my girlfriend’s summary after she read this blog entry. In her words “So whether a child is actually diagnosed with ADHD or not, parents working towards better parenting and communication skills in the family will help the child to cope with their difficulties and reduce stress for the child as well as the parents. (So simple)