Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

As the name suggests, ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition presenting with a combination of problems including difficulty focusing on a piece of work, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

The problem usually develops during childhood and is often carried on in adulthood.

Symptoms lead to decreased performance at school or work place and results in loss of confidence.

Why ADHD Occurs?

Clear reason why ADHD occurs is not known. However, many factors are seen to be associated with its occurrence. They include-

  • Genetic factor, history of ADHD in older siblings or any parent
  • Use or alcohol or smoking during pregnancy
  • Exposure of certain toxic environmental pollutants, like lead, used in older pipes or paint.
  • Addictive food stuff, including too much of sugary snacks.
  • Premature birth

Symptoms aggravate when the child faces stressful situations, watches too much of changing screens (as in screen video games), emotional setbacks.

Diagnosing ADHD is difficult. It requires a careful and detailed history and clinical exam of the child.

Treatment

Though medications are available to control the condition, proper training and counseling can largely tackle the condition.

The child needs a psychiatrist, who may listen to him careful and train him to carefully and slowly complete his tasks in an efficient way.

Medications are available that control the levels of chemicals in the brain and improve symptoms. They include a range of psycho-stimulants, like ritalin, dextroamphetamine, concerta.

These medications are available in short acting or long acting forms. Slow release patches are also available.

Alternatively, some kids have responded well to anti-depressant pills (bupropion, clonidine etc.). Atomoxetine or strattera may also be used.

Management at Home

While medications and training mentioned above may improve symptoms, good and sincere efforts at home can cure your child.

Extra care and love is required. Parents need to be compassionate and tolerant regarding the child’s symptoms. Here are some of the things that you may do to treat your child-

  1. Love and appreciate your kid. Don’t let a single instance go neglected when you can affectionately respond to your child. Your love is the child’s hunger, don’t deprive him of this valuable gift.
  2. Spend time with kids. Participation of both father and mother is essential. Play with them or ask them to join you in household activities.
  3. Improve your child’s confidence by placing your confidence in him. Tell him that he means a lot to you and you feel that he is the best.
  4. Organizing the child’s time and work is essential. Help him and give direction so that he can manage his work better.
  5. Less of screens, including T.V. and video and more of outdoor sports. Also, a good sleep on a daily basis needs to be assured.
  6. Avoid losing patience. This may be difficult, as your child brings problems again and again. However, this is essential. Where else can the child take his problems if you don’t listen!
  7. Stay in touch with his school teacher, friends and other people he interacts with.