Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very real neurological disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD, while other experts believe it could be more. Along with ADHD, people may experience anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, sleep disorders or depression.
Researchers have discovered that ADHD is, in part, caused by the brain’s inability to release enough neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the chemicals that enable us to be attentive and in control. I’ve written a comprehensive blog post about ADHD that you can read here, to learn and understand more about it.
Along with attention-deficit and hyperactivity, a common trait is hypersensitivity. Bright lights, loud noise and scratchy clothes are a thousand times worse for a person suffering from ADHD than for us. They can’t just ignore it and move on, like we can.
ADDITUDE Magazine published an interesting article with people suffering from ADHD telling about their sensitivities:
- Tactile Sensitivities: clothing tags, jewellery, etc.
- Auditory Sensitivities: ticking clocks, dripping taps, cutlery scraping the plate, etc.
- Olfactory Sensitivities: perfume, hairspray, diesel fumes, petrol fumes, body odor, etc.
- Visual Sensitivities: flickering lights, halogen lights on emergency vehicles, leg wiggling, etc.
- Claustrophobic Sensitivities: crowded places, elevators, supermarkets, etc.
If these hypersensitivities are interfering with the ability to function in daily life, people suffering from ADHD should consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). I wrote about the different types of therapy in this blog post.
Can a child have both ADHD and ASD? Yes, and a delayed diagnosis of autism delays vital treatment. ASD and ADHD are different neurological disorders, however they do have some symptoms in common. Which similar symptoms do “Autism” and ADHD have?
- Social awkwardness
- Difficulty in interactions with others
Do you suspect a family member of having ADHD and/or “Asperger Syndrome”? The cycle of frustration and failure can be broken with proper treatment. Please, I urge you to seek help immediately. Knowledge is power, so learn all you can about ADHD and/or ASD. The more you understand, the more supportive you can be.
If you are a friend, partner or family of an adult on the spectrum, please join our private community, ”ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum”, to learn more, but also to talk and to get support from people with similar life challenges as yours.