You have probably heard of the term ADHD, though not necessarily of ADD. ADHD is better known because the H part, which stands for 'hyperactivity', is more obvious. ADD is attention deficit disorder.
A lot of children, such as those who are extremely quiet and seem to be in a
constant daydream, are often not diagnosed as having a learning difficulty.
This is the condition of ADD, i.e. ADHD
without the hyperactive element. Those with hyperactivity and severe impulsive behaviours are more easily recognisable, always on the go, flitting from one activity to another, always interrupting, always demanding attention.
We could say that most pre-schoolers display these symptoms but those who we are concerned with, display these signs over and above others of their own age.
Neither condition is caused by bad parenting. They result from a chemical imbalance in the brain and are proven medical conditions.
There are no official statistics for the
prevalence of ADD/ADHD in any age group, let alone within the under-fives. However, conservative estimates indicate that at least one in every 30 children suffers with ADD/ADHD, i.e. one in every playgroup/class.
· Impulsive behaviour: of course, many under-fives show a degree of impulsiveness. But if a child tears up the picture he has just drawn, he can get upset, as he cannot take that picture home.