Appendix B: Checklists for Child Problems
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
There are three major types of ADHD, and the following checklist can help you to understand the types of behaviors and symptoms that children with ADHD share. In addition to having the appropriate number of symptoms, it is also important that the child display the symptoms across situations, such as at home and at school. Although the symptoms may be more obvious in the classroom setting, where it is more important that the child remain seated and concentrate on schoolwork, the behaviors should also be observable at home as well. It is also important to understand that other problems can have similar symptoms. For example, you will find similar symptoms in the checklists for anxiety disorders and depression, especially the bipolar version of depression. So if the child is demonstrating a number of these symptoms, it might be helpful to look at the checklists for depression and anxiety as well.
Anxiety Problems and Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is one of the most common problems in childhood and adolescence, with as high as 13 percent reporting some degree of anxiety. Children who experience problems with anxiety often feel a sense of uncontrollable worry in the face of unpredictable events. Often situations or events can trigger uncomfortable levels of emotional and physical arousal such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, feeling threatened, and a strong desire to withdraw, avoid, or escape. Young children are especially likely to feel a mixture of both anxious and depressed feelings.
The majority of children with autism (approximately 75 percent) will also have some degree of intellectual disability. Autism is one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), all of which share a number of the same characteristics. The disorder is observable prior to three years of age, although early development may appear normal. There are three major areas of atypical functioning and qualitative impairment.
Disorders and Problems of Mood: Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Unlike adults, children who are upset show depression through irritability. Depressed mood can be a temporary reaction, which self-corrects when the distress subsides. Difficult adjustments (moving to a new house or changing schools) may result in a temporary (less than six months) depressive response. Sometimes, children will exhibit a number of symptoms of depression that cluster together, referred to as a syndrome. Children and youth can also experience more severe forms of depression, such as dysthymic disorder (DD), lasting for a year, or major depressive disorder (MDD), a severe disorder that lasts for at least two weeks but is very devastating. Some children may bounce between the lows of depression and the highs of mania, a disorder referred to as Bipolar Disorder (BD). Many children with BD will experience several mood swings (highs and lows) on a daily basis, a condition called rapid cycling.
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