Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
Causes of this disorder include both Genetic/Hereditary and Environmental determinants. However, in present day scenario, environmental causes are much more predominant that genetic influence. Unhealthy food habits among children, excessive use of technology, indoor gaming habit, uncongenial daily life patterns, etc. can aggravate prevalence of this disorder.
Is ADHD a mental illness or a learning disability?
ADHD, in present day, is becoming more a kind of lifestyle disorder with the basis of Hormonal malfunction. However, this disorder can be associated with other mental health issues that can give rise to various Learning/Behavioural difficulties.
Is there a difference between ADD and ADHD?
ADHD has two sub-types. They are: Attention deficit type & Hyperactive type. The person with only poor attention span and no associated behavioural impulsiveness is said to be suffering from Attention deficit type(ADD); whereas, the child having both the problems of inattention as well as impulsiveness is an Attention Deficit Hyperactive (ADHD) child.
What age can you diagnose ADHD?
ADHD symptoms usually appear early in life, often between the ages of 3 and 6, and because symptoms vary from person to person, the disorder can be hard to diagnose. Parents may first notice that their child loses interest in things sooner than other children, or seems constantly “unfocused” or “out of control.”
Few common ADHD/ADD symptoms for detection at early stage:
- Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
- Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task. Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
- Fidget and squirm in their seats
- Talk nonstop
- Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
- Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, doing homework, and story time
- Be constantly in motion
- Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
- Be very impatient
- Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
- Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
- Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities
Interventions for ADHD:
The management of ADHD typically involves psychotherapy & pharmacotherapy either alone or in combination along with special educational support. While treatment may improve long-term outcomes, it does not get rid of negative outcomes entirely. However, long term Behaviour/Cognitive Behaviour Therapies are important in effective management of this disorder. The best remedy is to positively channelise the hyperactivity into something productive process, like: Sports, Yoga & Meditation, Dance, Music, Swimming, etc.
ADHD Management Tips:
- Create a Simple List of Rules
- Use Praise & Time out system
- Create a Reward System
- Homework Hour
- Establish structured routine in daily life
- Use Consequences Effectively
- Discourage video games in phone, laptop, play station, etc. & encourage playing with peer groups
- Develop & encourage creative habits
- Foster positive & meaningful communication
- Create schedule for leisure time activity with the child like: storytelling, listening music together, etc.