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Could Hyperactivity & concentration issues mean my child have ADHD: 6 to 12 years

18 Oct 2015

ADHD clinically known as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. It affects about 10% of school-age children.

Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it. This is disorder doesn’t just affect the child but it also has a great impact on the primary care taker of the child. Very often we hear complaints from parents that their child is very hyper, doesn’t sit around. But do all kids who can’t sit around have ADHD?

Let’s looks at the signs and symptoms of ADHD and understand behaviour pattern of a child (age group of 6-12yrs) suffering from it.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of ADHD

ADHD has 3 subtypes:

An inattentive type, with signs that include:

· trouble paying attention to details or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities

· difficulty staying focused on tasks or play activities

· apparent listening problems

·difficulty following instructions

·problems with organization

·avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort

·tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks, or homework


·forgetfulness in daily activities

A hyperactive-impulsive type, with signs that include:

·fidgeting or squirming

·difficulty remaining seated

·excessive running or climbing

·difficulty playing quietly

·always seeming to be "on the go"

·excessive talking

·blurting out answers before hearing the full question

·difficulty waiting for a turn or in line

·problems with interrupting or intruding

A combined type, a combination of the other two type, is the most common

Although it can be challenging to raise kids with ADHD, it's important to remember they aren't "bad," "acting out," or being difficult on purpose. And they have difficulty controlling their behavior without medicine or behavioral therapy.

Of course, all kids (especially younger ones) act this way at times, particularly when they're anxious or excited. So let’s understand how can this usual excited behavior be different from a diagnosable ADHD disorder. As a parent its very important to get have child be taken to a specialists like psychiatrists, psychologists, or neurologists for diagnosis. These specialists can help if the diagnosis is in doubt, or if there are other concerns, such as Tourette syndrome, a learning disability, anxiety, or depression.

To be considered for a diagnosis of ADHD:

· a child must display behaviours from one of the three subtypes before age 12

· these behaviours must be more severe than in other kids the same age

· the behaviours must last for at least 6 months

·  the behaviours must happen in and negatively affect at least two areas of a child's life (such as school, home, childcare settings, or friendships)


The behaviours also must not only be linked to stress at home. Kids who have experienced a divorce, a move, an illness, a change in school, or other significant life event may suddenly begin to act out or become forgetful. To avoid a misdiagnosis, it's important to consider whether these factors played a role when symptoms began.

Impact on learning


· ADHD can have a profound effect on many aspects of school performance and on children's relationships with their peers and teachers at school.


· ADHD can interfere with a child's ability to learn facts and skills, which can result in them falling behind in their learning and being excluded from the regular classroom. If sufficiently challenging or disruptive, behavioural problems can lead to suspension and, ultimately, exclusion from school itself.


·  Whilst ADHD is not a problem of ability, it can affect performance consistency, with implications for learning. In addition, specific learning disorders commonly associated with ADHD, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia, can cause problems with reading, spelling and maths.


Impact on communication


· Children with ADHD often have problems with communication, partly as a result of the associated disorders they commonly suffer from like

*  Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), which leads to hostile, argumentative and defiant behaviour

*  Language disorders, which lead to difficulties in speech and the use of language

* Autism, which causes difficulties in communication, imagination and socialisation

* Tourette’s syndrome or vocal tic disorders, which lead to outbursts and problems with speech


Impact on interaction

· Most children with ADHD have sever issues with interactions with their peers and with teachers.


· A child who has difficulty sitting still, who behaves unpredictably, impulsively and erratically, and who does not appear to learn from their mistakes, can be frustrating, hard to like and difficult to engage with and teach.


· In turn, criticism from teachers, and the difficulty the child may have in making and keeping friends at school, can contribute to anger and poor self-esteem. This in turn could also lead to a downward spiral of difficult and disruptive behaviour. Very often children with ADHD due to their disruptive behaviour stand out in crowd and thus are victims of bullying in class.


As a result, school can be a difficult and lonely place for some children with ADHD.


Impact on concentration

· Conversation here means speech. ADHD causes significant problems with concentration.


· Acquiring basic skills at school inevitably involves practice, which can potentially be tedious and repetitive. Children with ADHD may find tasks that require concentration very difficult - learning multiplication tables, for instance, or the sounds associated with letters when learning to read - and may go to great lengths to avoid them.


Impact on memory

The poor working memory of children with ADHD can be a very important factor in the impairment of their school performance.


· Working memory plays a crucial role in the early stages of learning to read and spell. Poor working memory can lead to problems for children with:


* Understanding texts

* Planning written work

* Logical thinking

* Carrying out multipart instructions

* Expressing themselves verbally and in writing


Treatment for ADHD

ADHD can't be cured, but it can be successfully managed. The treatment is planned with a goal - to help the child learn to control his or her own behaviour and to help families create an atmosphere in which this is most likely to happen.


In most cases ADHD requires a combination of medicine and behaviour therapy. Close follow-up, monitoring behaviour and treatment impact are very critical to success of therapy. It requires a lot of dedication from parents not just to understand the child but to carry the change environment need back home. One need to not only implement changes but maintain them.


Tips for parents on how to manage ADHD child:

· A child with ADHD needs a routine which includes sleep time to wake time plan. Parents need to ensure that this routine is followed up.

· Child with ADHD needs to be taught to be organized. E.g. schoolbags, clothing, and toys in the same place every day.

·  Turn off the TV, radio, and computer, especially when your child is doing homework- avoid distraction.

· Limit choices. Offer a choice between two things (this outfit, meal, toy, etc., or that one) so that your child isn't overwhelmed and overstimulated.

· Change your interactions with your child. Instead of long-winded explanations and cajoling, use clear, brief directions to remind your child of responsibilities.

· Use goals and rewards. Use a chart to list goals and track positive behaviors, then reward your child's efforts. Be sure the goals are realistic—baby steps are important!

· Discipline effectively. Instead of yelling or spanking, use timeouts or removal of privileges as consequences for inappropriate behavior.

· Help your child discover a talent. All kids need to experience success to feel good about themselves. Finding out what your child does well — whether it's sports, art, or music — can boost social skills and self-esteem.

· Intervention of Occupational Therapist or special educator will be of benefit to children with ADHD on matter related to studies.

Tips that parents can share with teachers for classroom functioning.

· Avoid seating distractions and make the child sit close to the child. Don’t make them sit in a place that’s close to door or window.

·Use a homework folder for parent-teacher communications. The teacher can include assignments and progress notes, and which can be followed up by the parents. Parents can further ensure that all work is completed on time.

·Break down assignments. Keep instructions clear and brief, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.

·Give positive reinforcement for things like being seated, waits for his/her turn, behaves well with peers etc.

·Teach good study skills. Underlining, note taking, and reading out loud can help your child stay focused and retain information.

· Supervise. Check that your child goes and comes from school with the correct books and materials. Sometimes kids are paired with a buddy to help them stay on track.

· Be sensitive to self-esteem issues. Ask the teacher to give feedback to your child in private and avoid asking your child to perform a task in public that might be too difficult.

· Involve the school counsellor or psychologist. He or she can help design behavioural programs to address specific problems in the classroom.

If your Child has any of the above symptoms , you must consult completely Online, ePsyClinic's renowned psychiatrists/ psychologists and experts of learning Difficulties, ADHD and other child issues. 

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Tags: #ADHD #child #children #6-12years