Around 10% of kids suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They just can’t pay attention, they are restless, are disobedient and are at times even very sluggish and adamant. Though this condition is not fatal, it increases the challenges to be faced by the kid and many a times if not diagnosed at the right age can even progress to adulthood. This would then interfere in all aspects of his life. Thus the need to identify this disorder (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD) is vital.
Though boys are more likely to suffer from ADHD, girls have not completely escaped from this threat. Hence we need to know more about this long winding disorder, so read on where a few commonly arising questions are answered.
How do I know if my kid is having ADHD, restlessness is very common among many kids?
ADHD can be categorised by three main symptoms:
• Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness
• A combination of both
A hyperactive kid would have trouble sitting in one place, playing a single game for more than a few minutes and so on. He would be impulsive at times and act before thinking. Yelling and shouting would typically be his forte. On the other hand, a kid suffering the inattentive symptoms would be a dreamer, he would never be recognised by his peers, teachers or neighbours. He would be in his own world and talk very little. The third category of patients demonstrate both the earlier explained symptoms at times. However, the very fact that your kid is showing one of the three categories of symptoms doesn’t put him under the ADHD bracket.
A kid under seven years is diagnosed as having ADHD only when one of the three symptom categories is displayed by him for a period of at least six months at a stretch. Moreover, these symptoms should not follow any mishap or stress giving state for the kid in form of divorce between parents, death of a close one, change of school, separation from friends or relatives etc. This is because any change in such environmental factors may cause some psychological adverse effects even in a normal kid. So be sure that the symptoms depicted are not a reaction to any mental stress.
What is the cause of ADHD?
ADHD is caused due to genetic factors and the reason is still under research. However it has been discovered that patients with close relatives having a hyperactive state may suffer ADHD. Studies have shown that the brain size of these patients is 5% to 10% smaller than normal individuals and the reactions in the brain are also abnormal. Poor parenting, high sugar intake and any other environmental factor are surely not the cause for ADHD.
How can I help my child in ADHD?
ADHD is not a fatal disease. Apart from medications prescribed by your doctor, good care, support and monitoring by parents is indispensable for sure treatment. The following should be kept in mind and implemented:
1. Set a regular routine for your child keeping him busy productively.
2. The timings and place of different activities should be more or less fixed to adhere to discipline.
3. Short and crisp instructions should be given to the kid to help him understand what is right for him. Don’t confuse him by using long instructions or adding explanations to them.
4. Do not divert his attention by playing music or turning the television on when an activity is already going on.
5. Accompany him in all he does so that he doesn’t feel being punished.
6. Any punishment should be in form of lesser play time or time out so that he perceives discipline as a way to get rewards.
7. Any good conduct should be immediately rewarded by praise.
8. Work hand in hand with teachers and doctors to help your child.
9. Change his seat in school and make him seated near the teacher so that he is always monitored.
10. Keep a notepad handy with the teacher so that his progress in school is monitored.
11. Reading and writing practice is a must for these children and only gradual but continuous improvement is expected.