What is ADHD?
ADHD (short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a group of symptoms which typically present as impulsiveness, hyperactivity and a lack of attentiveness. These things tend to be picked up at a young age – they are often highlighted when a child has a change of circumstances, such as beginning school.
It is one of the most common behavioural issues in children in the UK with around 2-5% estimated to have the condition. There is no known specific cause for ADHD nor is there a single test. Doctors can diagnose the condition based around a set of standard guidelines. Information is collected from schools, parents and carers to help make the diagnosis.
The Symptoms of ADHD
There are three main symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Some of the key traits of inattentiveness include: being easily distracted with a short attention span; being forgetful and possibly losing things, careless mistakes in tasks (school work is often the best example of this); struggling to complete tasks that are not interesting or take a lot of time and effort; struggling listening or carrying out instructions.
When it comes to hyperactivity and impulsiveness, the main traits can include: struggling to sit still – notably in a calm or quiet environment; constantly fidgeting, an inability to be able to concentrate and focus on tasks, excessive talking and physical movement, struggling to wait their turn (and also interrupting conversations) and acting without thinking which can lead to ending up in situations which are dangerous.
Alongside these, then there are some other conditions which can be related to ADHD such as anxiety (making the child nervous and possibly with physical symptoms) ODD (oppositional defiant disorder – disruptive behaviour against authority figures, poor conduct and anti social behaviour, depression and learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
It is harder to define ADHD in adults, mostly through a lack of research. It is thought that as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is developmental, then it must appear in childhood for it to be present in adulthood. It is known that those who have the disorder in childhood can show signs in adulthood, however a low percentage of adults show full symptoms.
ADHD presents differently in adults to how it presents in children and teenagers. Hyperactivity tends to be less prevalent in adults, whereas issues with inattentiveness tend to get worse due to the pressures of adult life. Signs are also thought to come across as more subtle within adults.
Some of the key Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms in adults include: carelessness and lack of attention to detail, poor organisation; lack of focus and inability to prioritise tasks; starting new tasks before finishing old ones; mood swings and irritability; impatience and a lack of ability to deal with stress. These are just a handful of what can be a symptom in adult sufferers, with a similar amount possible as can be seen in younger people.
For the most part therapy and medication are used to alleviate the condition and allow those with it to function in every day to day life better. Medication isn’t a permanent cure for ADHD but can definitely make people concentrate better and be calmer, as well as opening the door for improved learning. Various therapies can be implemented by professionals to help get to the underlying problems and help sufferers handle their situation better.
Can Sensory Solutions help with ADHD?
In short, sensory rooms can certainly have a positive effect on those with ADHD. Vibration, focused lighting, aromatherapy and sound control can dramatically affect our ability to attend. These tools act as filters for children with ADHD and ADD. The inability to focus and attend when necessary can be debilitating to education and life skills.
Our multi sensory rooms at Experia help to filter out extraneous sensory information. This helps the user to organise and modulate their thinking better, as well as their speech and orientation. Being exposed to calming lights from sources like bubble tubes, aromas and sounds can help the user relax and then engage and focus on their surroundings. A school or home setting up a sensory room can help improve the life quality of users and provide the sensory nutrition to boost attention. Our rooms can be a place for the individual with ADHD to engage calmly and succeed.
Experia have a wealth of experience when it comes to sensory solutions for ADHD. We can help your create an environment that will help those in your care; whether that is portable equipment that can help create sensory experiences anywhere, or a purpose built and designed sensory room. Contact us today and see how we can help you get the best sensory experience for ADHD sufferers.