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Looking for expert information about ADHD? Healthy Matters brings you a complete, practical, doctor-reviewed guide to ADHD in Hong Kong.
Methodology: This guide is informative only, doesn’t aim to be exhaustive and is based on our research.
Previously known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD is a behavioral disorder that causes children to be hyperactive or being unable to control their impulses which severely affects their ability to pay attention. This disorder might extend to their adulthood and affect the way that they live their life at home or at their school.
Globally, ADHD is the most common mental disorder in children. In Hong Kong, it affects 6.4% of children with a 3 to 1 boy to girl ratio. The Child Assessment Service from the Department of Health in Hong Kong says that symptoms of ADHD persist on 80% of children in the teenage stage, and 65% of the children in adulthood therefore 2.5% of adults have ADHD.
There are different signs and symptoms of ADHD in children and ADHD in adults.
Signs and symptoms of ADHD in children can be categorized into 3 parts, as listed below:
Symptoms of ADHD are usually visible from a very young age but for some cases, it can only be significantly identified as the person grows older, when complications start to develop.
Signs and symptoms in adults are as listed below:
There are no exact causes known for ADHD however there are factors that researchers think could lead to it, including:
There are some factors during pregnancy that are also thought to lead to ADHD:
ADHD cannot be diagnosed by brain imaging (CT scan, MRI or PET), however there are tests that can help diagnose ADHD. Here are some things to confirm before bringing your child to see a psychiatrist:
To be diagnosed with ADHD, the child must show at least six symptoms of inattentive, hyperactivity and impulsiveness mentioned above.
The assessment may or may not include:
An adult needs at least five sets of inattentiveness or at least five sets of hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, for ADHD to be diagnosed. If however your problems are recent and you don’t have these symptoms since childhood, it is not considered ADHD because ADHD is thought not possible for it to only appear as an adult.
For an adult to be diagnosed with ADHD, their symptoms should also have a moderate effect on different areas, such as:
If you believe a child in your family is suffering from ADHD, you may talk to a specialist from the Child Assessment Service at 2246-6659 or visit the ADHD Foundation‘s website for more details.
ADHD cannot be prevented or cured. It is, however, possible to minimize its effects in adulthood through medication, treatment, or food diet. ADHD should ideally be assessed and managed before or at the age of 9, in order to minimise its effects in the long run.
Stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine are medications that can be used to treat symptoms of ADHD, however, it is not guaranteed to work for everybody and does not serve as a permanent cure. It may help with improving the ability to concentrate, controlling impulses, thinking ahead with planning, and being responsible to follow through the tasks given.
There are many different kinds of therapies that can help treat ADHD:
Other than therapies or medicine, researchers found that low consumption in fruits, fish, vegetables, whole grains and nuts leads to an increased risk of ADHD. Red meat, egg and dairy products adding up to the cycle.
There are also some dietary interventions for children with ADHD which are:
In Hong Kong, the cost of a consultation with a psychiatrist varies greatly as is the case for most doctors, depending on the location and facilities. Our research shows that consultations in the private sector range from $790 to $3,000.
For eligible HKID-holders, attending a public specialist clinic would cost $135 for first attendance and $80 for subsequent attendance. For service at psychiatric day hospitals, there is a fee of $60 for each attendance and no fee is charged for community nursing services in the psychiatric department.
For non-eligible people, the price of attending a public general clinic is $1,190 per attendance. The inpatient service fee at psychiatric hospitals is $2,340 per day. For service at psychiatric day hospitals, there is a fee of $1,260 per attendance and community nursing services charge $1,550 per visit.
Please enquire at your clinic of choice for the specific costs.
*All amounts are in HKD. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
Useful Resources About ADHD in Hong Kong
This article was medically reviewed on 26 June 2019 by Pediatrician Dr. Wai Fan Fanny LAM, MRCP(UK), HKCPaed, HKAM(Paed), Specialist in Developmental-Behavioural Paediatrics, Honorary Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Hong Kong, and Tutor for The Association for Research in Infant and Child Development, UK.
According to Alea, ADHD treatment is generally not covered by health insurance. If pre-existing when purchasing a medical plan, it is usually excluded and therefore not covered. When covered, ADHD claims are generally eligible under doctor specialist consultation.
If you have any health insurance questions, contact an advisor at Alea at [email protected].
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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