Authored By Sangeeta Goswami:
“People treat my son like a moron. He just can’t stop fidgeting. Teachers in his school always get on to him because he is over-energetic and restless by nature. He shall often jump on the bench and create a nuisance even though he can absorb things much better than anyone else in the class. My neighbors would call him a stupid. When he is home, he shall be totally disruptive and out of control. Often he would throw the remote on TV or he shall make my kitchen turn into hell within minutes. No sooner does he get on the bed; he shall start tearing the bed covers and throwing away things on the roof. He would shout at the highest pitch and create a scene to your utter dismay. No sooner shall he start playing video games, it shall hang. I try to calm him and he gets violent. He can't sit still for more than maybe 30 seconds, he loses focus very easily and you have to constantly redirect his attention. I thought of putting him in special education cell but they denied saying he is too smart.”
These may be the symptoms of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)- the leading psychiatric disorder in the world and the No. 1 reason a child takes medication. The increase in the number of prescriptions doctors write for treating ADHD is staggering. So it has become a big concern disease of all. Symptoms of this condition become evident when children begin preschool where they find themselves trapped in structured environment. A high level of energy and a low sense of danger may place these children in potentially risky situation which can be hazardous for people around them. Increased motor activity, reduced attention span, difficulty in concentration, and restlessness are the key behavior of this neurological disorder which hinder child’s educational and social performance. Teachers are often the first ones to identify or suspect ADHD in children since they spend time with many children of various age groups; they know how students typically behave in classroom situations require attention and self-control. When they detect some different behavior in a child which disrupts the class, they should contact the parents about their concerns. Their observations could be the greatest ally for parents while tracking the evaluation of this invisible disability. The three forms of ADHD are described as inattention, difficulty in performing tasks, hyperactivity and impulsivity according to the DSM IV (DSM4) Criteria for ADHD. It is not mandatory that all these symptoms need to be present in a child to be called as the one suffering from ADHD.
Some of the views claim that the restricted environment of schools may be responsible for this unusual behavior in children. And they believe when child is finally out of school, free to chase his own interests in the real world, he finds his niche and achieve remarkable success there. As quoted by a highly respected pediatrician at Yale University who treats (with drugs) many children "A disproportionate number of children labeled ‘ADHD without hyperactivity' are exceptionally bright and creative children. I've often thought that these kids find their own inner theater much richer and more interesting than the outer theater of the classroom and, so, naturally, focus on it at the expense of classroom attention. . . The proper fix for this problem would be done at the school level.
But Robert J. Melillo, (author of Disconnected Kids) says Children may show signs of this imbalance early in life. They may be slow to walk and have poor balance because their eyes don’t work well together. Some mothers recalled their hyperactive children kicking in the womb more forcefully than their other children, says Walt Karniski, MD, a developmental pediatrician. So it is clear that they show sign of ADHD before going to school also.
When we take the child to the pediatrician for a fever or cold, a quick test and the doctor put the child on the doses of antibiotics and child recovers soon. But when it comes to ADHD there is no objective clinical test to confirm it, the judgment is based on a set of subjective indications. In an attempt to help children struggling at school because of their poor concentration (which may merely be a sign of emotional or intellectual immaturity) many teachers, and doctors make the assumption that these are the signs of ADHD and start them on medications. Ironically, they often cure the symptoms and not the real cause. Evaluations based diagnosis takes time and require multiple clinical skills. The expert who makes the diagnosis - usually a trained psychologist, should rate the child's behavior on standardized evaluation scales to compare it to that of other children of same age, and be sure that the symptoms persisted in several settings for more than 6 months. Regrettably, there is a shortage of appropriately trained experts. the misdiagnosis rate is about 1 in 5, that is around 900,000 of the 4.5 million children currently diagnosed with ADHD have been misdiagnosed.
- Genetics:Parents annoyed at claims that ADHD is the result of malnutrition and / or bad parenting, may take some relief knowing for the first time that these children have differently written brain DNA. The research, published in the journal The Lancet, Children with ADHD have a significantly higher rate of missing or duplicated DNA segments compared to other children and we have seen a clear genetic link between these segments and other brain disorders," explains Dr Nigel Williams. Read here.
- Heredity: ADHD has been found to run in families, 30% to 40% cases has a chance having a parent with ADHD as well.
- Chemical imbalance: Experts believe an imbalance neurotransmitters that transmit nerve impulses may be a factor in the development of ADHD symptoms.
- Head injury: There are reports of children with head injuries, particularly with concussions.
- PSYCHOTHERAPY:.A psychologist may teach children social skills, such as how to wait for their turn, share toys, ask for help, or respond to teasing. Learning to read facial expressions and the tone of voice in others, and how to respond appropriately can also be part of social skills training
- Meditation:As we all know, since ages Meditation techniques have been proven to increase the level of concentration. They can increase the amount of neurotransmitters (and especially a chemical called dopamine) in the brain, which assist focus and attention. Practicing meditation over a long period of time strengthens the brain that no drug can do as it tackles the root cause of the problem and is not just a temporary fix. Exercises in green, prayer, or relaxation, biofeedback may also be helpful to monitor the brain activity.
- IEP at school:Experts refer Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) by faculties in Schools. Successful learning requires concentration and control on impulses so frequent breaks can be much relaxing and refreshing for the children.
- Parent management: Parents are given a certain set of general principles for special need of ADHD child. Positive back up encourages the child's good behavior (like getting more computer time for finishing homework), and Bad behavior, might result in losing the time for playing game. It is the time for parents when they can reaffirm the values in personal and family bonding and their dedication to one another.
ADHD – A Boon:
Actually ADHD is a Gift to the Child If well directed. These Kids have much higher chance of becoming Great Sportsman, Innovators, and Entrepreneur......than Normal Kids. they are amazing at thinking out of the box, brainstorming, they excel in creativity because of their flexible thinking, they are open minded, enthusiastic and spontaneous, they are lively, are able to focus for long periods of time on tasks that they find interesting, they quickly absorb new concepts, they are best at multi tasking, wow….and they are incredibly energetic if something interest them.
The famous scientist Albert Einstein has been believed to have ADHD throughout his life. He was never organized and often skipped classes or day dreaming when in class. It is also reported that he had difficulties in speaking as a child. Guys with ADHD background who later made landmarks can be found here.
Moral of the story is, " Explore your children, Love them, Understand their psycholgy and Priorities.Each child is gifted."
Note:The author is neither a Psychologist nor an ADHD expert. Article is based on information from books, internet and cases she has heard about
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