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A Brief Overview: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Updated on August 22, 2013
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Children are basically restless creatures. They are curious and unstoppable. Once they can walk and run, parents go about chasing them. This is normal. However, there are cases where such restlessness is just too much. When a child becomes too tough to handle and won’t settle down after several attempts, it’s time to take him or her to a doctor for an evaluation possible attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Not to panic though, this does not mean you’re losing grip of your child. ADHD is a common disorder especially among schoolchildren. Knowing its causes, symptoms and treatment will help a parent take the necessary and proper steps.

What causes it?

A child’s extreme behavioral tendencies are not caused by lack of discipline on the parent’s part or solely from the poor training he gets from his environment. However, studies show that no single cause can be attributed to ADHD. Instead, it comes from a combination of biological and environmental causes. It was recently found out too that a child is more likely to inherit this disorder if this runs in their family and relatives. Moreover, unhealthy practices of the mother during pregnancy may risk the child to ADHD too. These include smoking, drinking liquor, too much stress and improper lifestyle of the mother. Premature delivery and damage of the brain during birth also have links to ADHD.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

How will you know that your child has ADHD? What crosses the line between a normal child behavior and an ADHD trait? There are three major behavioral patterns of ADHD. Each has its unique characteristic and can easily be determined. Paying attention to the following signs may help a parent decide to have the kid diagnosed by a doctor.

The inattentive type

  • Basically has a very short span of attention
  • Tendency to make errors even in simple tasks
  • Difficulty in following orders, procedures and instructions
  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Forgetfulness even in daily tasks and activities
  • Difficulty in organizing
  • Loses things

The hyperactive impulsive type

  • Often makes noises when playing or in some activity
  • Cannot stay seated for minutes
  • Tantrum-like behaviors, tendency to scream, shout and squirm without a cause
  • Likes to talk endlessly and excessive restlessness
  • Likes to run and jump around
  • Impatient
  • Often fidgets

The combined type

  • This is the most common type of kids with ADHD. They act without thinking of the consequences of their actions. They see no danger, has to ability to foresee the next thing that will happen and most often get excited about matters which spell danger.

If you see any of these combinations of signs and symptoms, pay your kid’s doctor a visit especially when this behavior last long and unmanageable. You may be wrong but you may also be right. Asking a doctor’s recommendation is better than subjecting your child into scolding and punishments. These steps can only make matters worse. Experts on ADHD already know how to determine children who suffer from it.

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Treatments available for ADHD

There is no single treatment that can take away this disorder. But through continuous study, it was found out that this disorder can be handled with the help of medication and behavioral therapy. In this case, parents play a major role in helping the child control his behavior and lessen its effects. A long term program or plan can be organized for the child. This plan continues as the child grows older and by that that time he or she has lessen such hyperactivity.

Medications

  • These include stimulants, non-stimulants and anti-depressants
  • The effect of these medications can vary from how a child responds. Some respond well while others don’t. The doctor determines what would suit a child well.

Behavioral Therapy

  • When combined with medications prove to be very helpful
  • This treatment tries to change a child’s behavioral patterns
  • This includes organizing the child’s social environment
  • The most common is the use of the reward system. Here, the child is given a gift, a surprise or anything in return for his or her obedience from a command or an instruction
  • This would also include giving a child something to focus to like a particular activity wherein he or she can indulge and pour out energy

Alternative treatment

Includes specialized routines and special programs organized for a specific child


Role of the Parents

Having a child with ADHD is a challenge. If parents are expected to be patient and understanding with their children, such patience must be stretched to the fullest. Most of all, they play a major role in the treatment of their children as they are the ones who must exert every effort to curb their child’s behavioral problem. They must immerse themselves in learning how to cope up with the challenge, what are the possible things to do to lessen the burden and give support to the fullest. Partnerships with social organizations and groups that foster the development and treatment of ADHD children gives an advantage.

Here are the simple things which must be done at home or in school for a child with ADHD learning disability.

  • Talk to the school’s counselor or psychologists for possible special programs for your child.
  • Inform the teacher about the matter so special attention can be given to the child.
  • Keep things in an orderly manner.
  • Give instructions that are simple and do it clearly.
  • Create an activity that boosters the child’s yearning for learning.
  • Make your own reward system using food or a treat whenever a positive attitude is shown by the child.
  • Nagging and scolding will not help.

Finally, a parent should show all the love and care that a child with ADHD needs without however spoiling him or her. Knowing that their parents are always there for them creates comfort and assurance in their environment. Giving them a bright future is never impossible and that depends largely on a parent’s determination to give them so.

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© 2013 Lanao G

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