Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD)

Kids and hyperactivity

We all have seen kids getting overexcited and probably we ourselves have been inattentive when we were kids (maybe even now) Today in fact that 5 out of 10 kids may be hyperactive. However, similarity in pattern and commonality of occurrence is not a defense for tolerating abnormality. We need to comprehend ADHD a lot better so we can take care of our children. ADHD comprises of inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. Of course these need to be excess of normal to actually consider it to be a problem or disorder.

Why it occurs

Attention is the function of the developed and mature brain. Lack of cerebral development leads to inattention, hyperactive or combined ADHD. Children may develop ADHD if their parents or siblings had or have it. Mothers who are stressed in pregnancy transfer the stress chemical (cortisol) to their children and this impacts the child’s brain. ADHD is set in motion early in life. Imaging studies suggest that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. An upbringing environment that gives excessive stimulation and multiple options promotes easy distraction in vulnerable children. Food additives, colorings, essences; flavors in ice creams, jams, and jellies are also being held responsible.

Need to treat

Parents play a critical role in the overall development of their child. Sometimes it is just impossible to know what’s going on in your child’s mind. Their behavior seems erratic, actions unacceptable and questions, exasperating. As much as we fail to realize it, children are great with understanding but relatively poor with expression. Parents need to know the techniques to comprehend how and why children behave (or rather misbehave) and what they are truly meaning to express instead of dealing with their misconduct purely with an emotional response. This gives a chance to pick up the warning signs of an impending problem so as to take appropriate steps to correct it well in time. Parents need to be better informed on ‘parenting’. They have the best intentions for their children but seldom the appropriate action to assure the optimal outcome.

Energy is good, if constructive

Hyperactive children may be regarded as normal kids who are more active than others. Over activity is a normal variant and it may well enough be considered a blessing. Some kids have more energy some have it less. However energy ought to be expended constructively else the child’s hyperactivity becomes counterproductive. An over active child can perform more tasks in the same time, do homework faster, play better, excel in sport and be extremely talented and a high achiever. However a child with ADHD lags behind because this energy is not channelized and focused. It is wasted vigor that tires the child but doesn’t refine his brain.

Making an accurate diagnosis

There are other problems in children, which can be confused with ADHD. If children cannot see or hear well, they seem to not pay attention in class. Sometimes kids are depressed or anxious or worried so they seem distracted. Lack of sleep, learning disabilities and behavior problems may be confused with ADHD. Some children primarily are inattentive; others are hyperactive while several may have a combination of types. Those with the inattentive type are less disruptive and are more likely to not be diagnosed with ADHD. They simply seem to be somewhat slow and backward in school and may be called slow learners too.

What we can do

ADHD can be very successfully treated with behavior modification. In some cases short course medication is helpful, but behavior therapy is the core of treatment. MINDFRAMES offers screening instruments to diagnose the attention deficits well before they get out of hand. A timely assessment is beneficial: through parent interviews on the child’s behavior in varied situations, in order to manage this problem well in time. Treatment of ADHD is a partnership between the counselor, the parents, and the child. Parenting guidelines and parent coaching forms the mainstay of our treatment. Homework tasks are allotted, more to the parents; to take responsibility for the child and adopting the attention and focus building strategies at home. Parents make the best behavior therapists. They are empowered to take up the mammoth task and follow up assessment of parents is also offered.

ADHD Inattention Checklist

Signs of attention deficit:

  • Careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Unable to finish even small tasks
  • Does not follow any instructions
  • Evades mental effort (homework)
  • Loses things: pencils, books, toys

ADHD Hyperactivity Checklists

An excessively hyperactive child:

  • Seems fidgety and squirmy
  • Runs around as if on a mission
  • Difficulty in doing tasks quietly
  • Moves as if driven by a motor
  • Talks excessively (inappropriate)

ADHD Impulsivity Checklist

A pathologically impulsive child:

  • Butts into conversations or games
  • Never waits for his or her turn
  • Interrupts on others often
  • Needs instant gratification
  • Very demanding in tantrums

Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t hyperactivity a good thing?
Truly it is very desirable to be bubbling with energy but if it gets wrongly channelized, it harms the child. Aggression, impulsivity, and disorganization hinder progress. The energy ought to be put in the suitable direction with therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sugary food lead to ADHD ?
Jams, jellies, ice-crams, candies, squashes; all can be implicated in ADHD. However, it is not really sugar; rather additives like colors and flavors that aggravate ADHD. Other foods need no restriction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can adults have ADHD?
A fraction of all childhood cases progress to ADHD in adulthood. They have problems at work as well as their personal lives because they cannot focus. Medication and behavior therapy is helpful for them.