Attention Deficit Disorder is called ADS. Children with ADHD are also hyperactive. Both forms of the disease are referred to in this article as ADHD. Read more about symptoms, causes, diagnosis and therapy of ADHD.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Hyperkinetic Disorder (HKS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Boy with ADHD

ADHD children appear to be uncontrolled, know no boundaries and constantly shoot beyond themselves with their impulses. ADHD can be combined with learning problems as well as with giftedness. These children show their positive sides just as impressively: They can be extremely charming, sensitive, creative and good-natured.

ADHD does not get lost during puberty, as previously thought. Rather, children with ADHD are often affected by the disease as adolescents and adults. Usually, however, adults with ADHD can better compensate and control their behavioral problems.

Forms of ADHD

Medical professionals distinguish between three types of ADD / ADHD, namely the

  • predominantly inattentive type (so-called dream Susen): This mostly affects girls, they are easy to distract and dream about – but are not hyperactive.
  • predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (so-called fidget philipp): Here, an immense urge to move and uncontrolled actions are impressive. Once they have come to rest, these children can concentrate well.
  • Mixed type: With the mixed type, as the name suggests, the symptoms of the other two types cannot be differentiated. This affects most children and almost all severe forms of ADHD.


Up to 10 percent (depending on the source) of all children are affected by ADHD. That is about 600,000 children in Germany, boys about four times more often than girls.


The common symptoms of ADD and ADHD include in particular attention disorders, relationship and interaction problems, lack of organizational skills, increased impulsiveness, learning disorders, negative self-assessment, mood swings and overactivity. Around 30 to 50 percent of children have other abnormalities at the same time. These include disorders of fine motor skills, partial performance disorders, tics and Tourette syndrome or problems in the area of ​​sensory perception.

If you and other people (e.g. educators, teachers) observe abnormal behavior in your child over a longer period of time, a visit to the doctor is advisable. Below you will find information on the most common symptoms of ADHD.

Attention Deficit disorder

ADHD children often have a very short attention span and are easily distracted. Games or tasks are often not completed this way. These children often appear dreamy and absent-minded.

Relationship and interaction problems

Children with ADHD often have major problems recognizing adults – especially authorities such as teachers and educators. You are constantly breaking the rules. Pronounced defiance and a lack of attention for others make contact with other children difficult.

Lack of organizational skills

Parents of ADHD children sometimes want to despair about their children’s lack of organization. Children’s room, desk and school bag are a mess. When doing a task at school, they open the wrong book. They only complete tasks with great effort and often only at the last second. You cannot distinguish between important and unimportant.

Increased impulsiveness

Mood swings, frustration and easy excitability often lead to outbursts of anger and aggressiveness in ADHD. Affected people have little control over their own feelings. So the child compulsively says what it thinks without weighing up the respective situation, is impatient and cannot wait. In addition, conversations and actions by others are constantly interrupted and disrupted.

Learning disorder

ADHD children are often exceptionally intelligent, but still need a disproportionate amount of time to complete tasks. For example, they misspell words, look up the wrong pages, and ignore instructions.

Negative self-assessment

ADHD children always rate their own performance as poor. Negative feedback from the environment reinforces this. Even with demonstrably good performances, they cannot believe that they have accomplished it on their own.

Mood swings

Abrupt changes in mood take place within a short period of time, just as joyful and joking children become aggressive or depressed in the next moment. Often, high and low feelings are provoked by dangerous situations. ADHD children often compensate for frustration with short-tempered outbreaks, adolescents and adults with ADHD often with nicotine, alcohol and drugs.


ADHD children are usually noticeably restless. They constantly fidget around, jump up from the chair in the play circle or class and, for example, rummage in the school bag. With targeted movement, these children often appear clumsy, cannot keep their balance and the movements appear awkward and angular. This restlessness often makes it difficult for ADHD children to fall asleep.


The diagnosis of ADD and ADHD is based on the symptoms – but sometimes far too quickly. Lack of concentration and overactivity can very well also be reactions to temporary conflicts or special living conditions, or be due to a lack of movement.

The diagnosis of ADHD should therefore only be made by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or a child and adolescent psychotherapist. Special checklists, questionnaires and tests are available to these experts. In addition, other diseases such as hyperthyroidism, forms of epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, reduced talent or behavioral, anxiety and personality disorders must be excluded.


The medical and psychological therapy of ADD and ADHD aims to promote social skills and to exploit the child’s existing potential. There are several treatment options for this, which are often carried out in parallel. A common combination is that of drug treatment, psychological counseling, diet change, and behavioral and family therapy.

Drug treatment for ADD and ADHD

The drug of choice for drug treatment of ADD and ADHD in most doctors is the active ingredient methylphenidate (known as the drug Ritalin). Methylphenidate belongs to the so-called psychostimulants and is prescribed according to narcotics regulations. After taking it, the children are calmer and less impulsive for about four hours. But there are also many side effects. Delays in growth, gastrointestinal complaints, depression and insomnia are just a few. After detailed advice, the decision for or against methylphenidate should be a joint decision of the parents, the child concerned (depending on their age) and the child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Self help for ADD and ADHD

Dealing with an ADHD child can be difficult and stressful for parents and siblings. With the following tips you can promote peaceful coexistence and make family life much more harmonious.

  • Acknowledge that you do not have a comfortable child. But stick to him anyway.
  • In unpleasant situations, remember that your child is not like that to annoy you.
  • Treat yourself to a child-free time to recharge your batteries every now and then.
  • Stabilize yourself so that you can give your child the necessary support.
  • Set your child relatively narrow, but definitely clear limits. With rules you help your child to control himself.
  • Announce the consequences if the established rules and limits are exceeded (the consequences can be determined together with older children).
  • Follow through on announced consequences.
  • Don’t lump sum (you’re always …, you always do …).
  • Give your child time to get used to new things and situations.
  • Provide a calm environment and quiet times for your child.
  • Adhere to uniform parenting rules in the family.
  • Avoid ranting and discussions.
  • Provide your child with security and security – no matter how it is done.
  • Don’t educate on every little thing.
  • Avoid impulsive severity with spontaneous threats of punishment.
  • Provide structural aids.
  • Praise as much as possible, look for the positive aspects of your child and highlight them.
  • Make sure you exercise extensively.
  • Keep in touch with teachers.
  • Do not overwhelm, but also do not underwhelm your child.

Naturopathy and Homeopathy

Valerian, lemon balm, hops, St. John’s wort as tea, oil, drops or dragees can help calm ADHD. Scented oils from orange blossom, lavender, jasmine and lemon balm can have a balancing effect (paradoxical, i.e. opposite reactions are possible in individual cases).

Acidum phosphoricum, Barium Carbolineum, Helleborus and Rhus toxicodendron are often used as homeopathic medicines in ADHD.


ADS and ADHD cannot be prevented with targeted measures. However, pregnant women should not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. In this way you enable your child to start life as healthy as possible.


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