What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders.
It affects 5-8% of children, mainly boys, and often lasts until adulthood. ADHD affects a child’s learning process and daily life. Three key aspects of impact are distinguished:
- Carelessness – inability to hold attention, focus;
- Hyperactivity – excessive movement that is not appropriate for the environment, or excessive minor movements (especially of the feet or hands), which often show nervousness or impatience, beating or toes against the surface or speaking (when keeping quiet);
- Impulsivity – acting quickly, without thinking and to have a high potential for harm (including health);
Most Common Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
The symptoms seen in the syndrome are not the same in all children.
The condition can range from poor attention to hyperactivity and impulsivity, or a combination of both.
Symptoms can sometimes occur in children who do not have ADHD. In children with ADHD, the symptoms are common, more severe, and cause problems in everyday life:
- Children with weak attention are more often able to be forgetful, distracted, unable to focus on the task and its completion. They may feel that they are not listening to what they are being told, that they are not organizing and that they need more time to take some action. They also often lose their belongings.
- Children with hyperactivity can often be restless, restless or full of energy, or they are always “ready to go”. These children are loud, chattering, and have difficulty sitting in their place (such as on a classroom bench). These children run around a lot or climb in inappropriate places, and they are not able to quietly engage in recreational activities or games.
- Children with impulsivity symptoms often perform actions without thinking, they have difficulty waiting their turn in the game or waiting in line. These children tend to interrupt the conversation of others, and to answer before the question is completed. These children can look harassing and often use or touch other people’s things without asking permission.
What Causes ADHD?
The exact causes of ADHD are not known, but various factors may contribute to the following syndrome:
- genetic inheritance – ADHD can be observed in several family members;
- the child has had significant traumatic experiences;
- premature birth;
- brain injuries;
- exposure to an environmental toxin such as high levels of lead at an early age;
- maternal smoking, alcohol use, or extreme stress during pregnancy.
When Should You Seek Help For Your Child?
It is important to seek help from a mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist) if you think your child has ADHD.
If a child has ADHD but is not diagnosed, the child can be disobedient and irresponsible, and the child can often be blamed and punished for his or her behavior.
Punishment can worsen his behavior. Children with ADHD who do not receive the help and support they need are at higher risk of dropping out of school.
Such children may also have more accidents and injuries than children who do not suffer from ADHD.
ADHD cannot be cured by erasing its symptoms, but treatment can help control the symptoms and improve the child’s daily life.
The treatment plan is determined by a specialist and good communication and teamwork between doctors, parents, and school teachers are needed to achieve a better result.
A standard ADHD treatment plan includes:
- Drugs. Not all children with this syndrome need medication, but many do. Medicines can reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, improve a child’s ability to concentrate, work and learn, and improve their physical coordination. The most common medicines used to treat ADHD are stimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin). Other medicines, such as antidepressants, may be used if the simulants have serious side effects or are ineffective, or to increase the effects of the stimulants.
- Psychotherapy. It can help patients and their families cope better with everyday problems. Parents and teachers help the child gain control over their behavior by establishing clear rules, daily to-do lists and other structured routines.
- Education and training. A child with ADHD needs to learn social skills, such as how to wait their turn, share toys, ask for help or respond to teasing. Parents need to learn about ADHD, how it affects their family, and how to deal effectively with the negative feelings that may arise in their home due to their child’s disruptive behavior.
Medicines (Stimulants) Used To Treat ADHD Are NOT Addictive
Some parents worry about stimulants, and the potential risk that their child may become addicted. There is no clear scientific evidence for this dependence if we follow the rules.
However, there are concerns that a person around the child (such as a parent or teacher) may give the medicine at an inappropriate amount or frequency. When giving medicine to children:
- Make sure your child is taking the right amount of medication at the right time.
- Do not allow a child or adolescent to take responsibility for the use of their medication without proper supervision.
- Keep medicines at home in a closed place out of the reach of children. An overdose of stimulant drugs is very serious and can be fatal.
- Parents must always provide the school’s medical staff or teacher with the medicines they need to take during school. Never allow a child to bring these medicines to school on their own.
- Never take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Never stop giving medication to a child without consulting a doctor.
- Never give your child medicine to someone else, even if you think he is having the same problems.
How Can a Teacher Help a Child With ADHD?
As a teacher, you may have some difficulty working with such children.
You should learn more about ADHD so that you can better understand the specifics of the syndrome and also better support the students affected by the syndrome.
Following these simple tips can improve your opportunities to collaborate with your child at school:
- Children with ADHD are also more likely to experience a variety of learning problems, observing when a child needs support in the learning process.
- Help build your child’s confidence and social abilities.
- Provide simple written information about the child’s task and daily plan, place it in a place where the child can easily notice it.
- Intensified supervisors of the child’s work and give him positive feedback on what they have done. Be flexible and patient.
- Praise and reward the child for every little progress he makes.
- Be very clear and specific when giving any instructions. Give a simple message about what you expect from the child. Divide tasks into smaller steps. Help your child cope with the task step by step. Make corrections and adjustments carefully so as not to damage the child’s self-esteem.
- Try to include some physical activity in your activities. Varies between sedentary activities and those that allow movement.
- For misconduct, give the child a specific and immediate punishment that you have previously spoken to the child, the consequences he or she should consider if he or she misbehaves. Focus on the child’s behavior, not the child himself.