Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show the following symptoms:
- Poor attention span and concentration – unless totally engrossed in something (like a computer game).
- Poor concentration and memory
- The are very impulsive and do things without thinking.
- Their frequent temper tantrums and outbursts are a result of easy frustration.
While most children as well as adults face similar difficulties during daily routine, those children who suffer from ADHD have a far larger frequency of these difficulties. The extent is so acute that they are unable to undertake tasks such as:
- Participating in activities at school such as getting work done, paying attention, maintaining focus, being attentive in class etc.
- At home (often distracted, therefore not getting chores finished, constantly talking, “hyperactive”, getting into fights with siblings, difficulty getting ready in the mornings and at night, often clumsy), and
- In society (Often bossy and overbearing, show aggression, get frustrated easily and then have temper outbursts, and more)
ADHD is not a malfunction of any body part as it is in conditions like asthma or diabetes. This condition of ADHD happens because parts of brain are not working at full efficiency
Studies have proved that ADHD is partially genetic, gets transferred from parents to children and in a way runs in the family. What has also been established that the symptoms and the problems associated with ADHD are almost life long. They cannot be cured over night are with you for a long time. In most cases, these symptoms and problems continue well into the teens and often into adulthood too.
HOW IS ADHD MANAGED?
The big concern for children with ADHD is the danger of developing long term complications. For example:
- Their fear of failure at school owing to poor concentration, leading to school drop out
- They fear of being thrown out from school and landing into trouble with the police only because of their impulsive attitude.
- May turn to social ills like drugs, crime, drink because of their constant failures.
These fears are what bother these children as these factors could influence their attitude and performance in adult life too.
Effective management of ADHD starts at home. Parents have to be very patient and give their best to their child. The treatment of ADHD is very long, but it has to be given to the child so that he is a better adjusted adult. The goal is to prevent those long term compliations. Since you as the parent know your child the best, it is you who will have to take an active part in the management of his ADHD. An effective ADHD management program should include the following components:
COMMITTED PARENTS who will work for the best for their child. There is much information, including books and videos, on ADHD and how to help your child – borrow them, buy them, read them, and become informed. But remember there is also much mis-information (especially on the internet and in newspapers and magazines), so discuss what you read with your local support group and professionals. Be especially suspicious of groups who claim to have the “magic cure” for your child.
GOOD COMMUNICATION is very essential between parents, support groups and the school teachers. If all three groups care to communicate and solve particular problems it will be beneficial for the child.
ADJUSTMENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. Children with ADHD do best in a quiet, calm, structured, low-stimulation environment (e.g. one to one) and poorly in chaotic situations (e.g. busy classrooms, noisy, busy homes). As a family you may want to find ways to reorganise life so that it is less stressful for all of you. At school the teachers will be doing the same, and it is best if the two can be co-ordinated.
CLEAR STRATEGY FOR BEHAVIORAL MANAGEMENT. Children afflicted with ADHD are great responders to award and punishment scenarios. They come out best when they are informed of the awards they shall receive when they behave in a particular manner. Obviously, the awards have to be far more frequent than the punishment. Are not clear on what is involved need to consult a professional.
PARENTAL SUPPORT. Since getting along wit these children and bringing them up takes a lot of doing , the parents themselves are likely to get depressed and break up. To avoid marriages to break up and to maintain harmony, it is advisable for parents themselves to seek assistance from parent support groups, parent training groups, respite care, marital counseling, family therapy are such support groups and organizations.
MEDICATION for ADHD should be such that reduces the symptoms and lets the child the opportunity to learn academic, social, and other life skills. The aim here should be to get the correct medicine in the right dosage. child the opportunity to learn academic, social, and other life skills.
There are several types of medication that are used. The most common are the “stimulants” (discussed on the next page), but increasingly common is the new medication atomoxetine, which seems to work very well with few side effects. Ask your doctor for full information.
Health professional can only help the parents solve particular problems of your child, but they can not bring up your child for you. They will also help you clear your doubts on how to handle certain situations.
It is very important for you as a family to learn about the ADHD so that you are able to bring up the child in least stressful environment. The more you learn the better it is for the child and the family as a whole.