Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioural disorder which makes it difficult for a child to sit still, pay attention, be organised and think about the consequences of their actions before acting. The three main problems a child with ADHD faces are inattention, impulsivity and overactivity.
Although most children have trouble with some of these things, in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder the behaviour is extreme, continuous and affects their day to day functioning.
There are three different types of ADHD:
– ADHD Inattentive Type – difficulty with concentrating, paying attention, remembering and following instructions and the inability to focus on and finish tasks.
– ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive Type – trouble sitting still, acts impulsively without thinking, constantly moving and has trouble stopping.
– ADHD Combined Type – A combination of the above two types which results in an easily distracted, very busy and fidgety child who can be careless and very unorganised.
For an ADHD diagnosis, a professional such as a paediatrician, child psychologist or child psychiatrist must make a variety of assessments including collecting information from parents, teachers and carers. They will look at the child’s developmental history, behaviours and whether the symptoms are obvious in most of the child’s daily life.
Common Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
– Poorly organised and often forgets things
– Impatience and does not wait for a turn
– Talks too much
– Leave their seat in class, at the dinner table, in theatres and restaurants – wherever being seated is expected.
– Blurts out answers and interrupts others
– Makes careless mistakes and has lack of attention to detail
– Loses things
– Has difficulty finishing tasks like chores or homework
– Finds it hard to resist impulses and temptations
– Doesn’t listen to instructions
– Unpredictable mood swings
– Easily distracted and jumps from one activity to the next
There are a number of techniques and strategies that parents and teachers can use to help a child with ADHD function well and succeed in everyday life. These children need patience, understanding and positive reinforcement. Prescribed medications can be used to help control the impulsive behaviour and some other ideas that may help are:
– Make sure to follow a consistent and regular routine
– Give short, simple and clear instructions
– Give lots and lots of praise when they do something good
– Make sure they are actually paying attention when you are talking to them
– Always supervise them as they are prone to dangerous situations
– Try to ignore the small things!