What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder in children that makes them hyperactive and fidgety, thereby depriving them of the ability to pay attention.
An estimate of 3-10% of kids are believed to suffer from ADHD.
Inability to stay focused or pay attention
Making careless mistakes
Inability to complete chores
Inability to take care of personal items
Hyperactivity - inability to keep still
Impulsiveness - unable to wait for their turn or to think before acting
Hyperactive - Impulsive type
refers to children who are impulsive and fidgety but with the ability to pay attention.
(attention deficit disorder) refers to kids who are not too active but who cannot give attention.
refers to children who display inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.This is the most common type .
An imbalance in the brain chemicals or neurotransmitters is known to lead to ADHD.
What causes this imbalance is yet not clear, although it is seen to run in some families, suggesting that heredity could play a role.
There are no clear - cut diagnostic tools for ADHD.
Presence of the symptoms, patient’s response to queries, family description of patient behavior and school report are important in diagnosis.
A combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity must be displayed consistently for at least six months for the final diagnosis to be established.
Management - Medications
Stimulant medication such as Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine increases attention span, controls hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Non stimulant drug, Strattera, boosts the level of the brain chemical, norepinephrine, and thereby controls the symptoms.
Although effective in the majority, these drugs have side-effects
Management - Special Education
Many ADHD students study in regular schools. But almost all of them would doubly benefit from special education that is tailor-made to meet the needs of each ‘different’ child.
Management - Counseling & Therapies
Counseling is beneficial for a child with ADHD to help cope with low self esteem and other problems.
Some of the therapies they would benefit from are -»
Social skills training»
Organizational skills training»
Cognitive / Behavior therapy»
Parents of ADHD children can seek help from support groups in their area.
Some diet changes that would help ADHD affected children -
Eat high-protein foods such as meat, eggs, beans, and nuts to improve concentration.»
Replace simple carbs, like white bread, with complex carbs, like whole-grain bread.»
It is better to avoid additives, food coloring, mono sodium glutamate and aspartame
No one knows of a definite way to prevent ADHD in children but the importance of staying healthy, especially while pregnant, cannot be stressed enough.
Smoking, taking drugs or consuming high levels of alcohol during pregnancy increases the chances of having a kid with ADHD.
Life at a Glance
ADHD affected children have trouble interacting socially, achieving academically and maintaining relationships.
Regular treatment and counseling is required to cope with the problem.Life-long attention is required as the symptoms can extend well into adulthood.
Coping with these children is an up-hill task, hence parents of ADHD children need support too.