Expanding the Reach for Mental Wellness for Better Performance in Sport & Life


It’s much more than just the specific sport; it’s about reinforcing positive attitude and lessons for life.

Impulse Control Disorders

Impulse control Disorders are a variety of behavioural disturbances. These include: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder (CD), and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Combined, these disorders affect up to 8-10% percent of youth. AD/HD has a prevalence of about 3-5%. Impulse control disorders normally begin before puberty, while the onset of impulse control symptoms after puberty suggests another disturbance such as mood or psychotic disorder. They can all be associated with poor academic and/or vocational outcomes. They often co-exist with one or more language or learning disabilities and can lead to substance/alcohol abuse or criminal activity. With CD or ODD, appropriate adult guidance and limit setting are helpful. With AD/HD, medical treatments may be necessary. Many youth with CD/ODD display outbursts of anger and/or acts of violence. Youth with AD/HD tend to be inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive.

What is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Everyone has trouble paying attention from time to time, especially during activities that are boring or not enjoyable. But for children and youth with ADHD/ADD, the problems with paying attention and getting distracted are so severe that youth can have problems with school, work and relationships.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually becomes evident before eight years and not later than early adolescence. ODD is a pattern of defiant, disobedient, and hostile behaviour towards authority figures. ODD can be more common in families that include a parent with a mood disorder. Many youth with ODD have a background of untreated AD/HD or a language or learning disability. Boys with this disorder outnumber girls.

Conduct Disorder is a very serious behaviour problem where a child violates either the basic rights of others, or major rules and norms of society. If not corrected, children with Conduct Disorder face the risk of having future problems with the law.

If you suspect ADHD or an impulsive behaviour

If you suspect that a child/youth has ADHD or an impulsive behaviour, suggest to have him/her seen by a doctor (such as a family physician or pediatrician), or attend a clinic for behaviour problems. It’s important that the health care professional understands your child’s behaviour in multiple settings (school, home, extra curriculars), therefore try your best to gain insight and collateral from other educators or mentors in your child’s life. Further,  approximately 2/3 children with ADHD have an addition disorder or struggles such as:

  • A learning disorder
  • Additional behaviour disorders
  • Difficulty making and holding peer relationships
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • A high risk for injuries

Therefore, your health care professional should screen your child for multiple disorders and problems in addition to ADHD (CDC, 2018).


How is ADHD treated?

Many different treatments are available for ADHD where it can be successfully managed. A multidisciplinary approach across all settings of the child’s life is highly recommended. Depending on a number of factors including age, and your child’s unique needs, one or more treatments will work best.  If a treatment isn’t working (after giving it a good try, of course), a mental health professional may talk with the family and child about trying something else.

Behavioural Therapy

  • Recommended by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) as first line of treatment for children under 6 before medication is used
  • The goal of behaviour therapy is to reinforce positive behaviours, and eliminate and replace disruptive behaviours
  • Behaviour therapy training is recommended for parents to provide them with more tools to use in the home setting


May be helpful in certain cases, and these may be prescribed by a family physician, pediatrician or psychiatrist. Medications are generally used only when other treatments have not been successful, and can have a positive effect on managing your child’s ADHD symptoms.

Currently the most common treatments used for ADHD  in children are stimulants (fast acting) and non-Stimulants (slow acting).

Make sure you talk to your family phsyician, pediatrician or psychiatrist to get the most up to date information and to make an informed decision.