Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

This disorder is characterized in children who have the following problems:

Definition of ADHD

Children are naturally outgoing, very energetic and tend to be very active especially during playtime. But the young ones are also known to have short attention span as they easily get bored doing an activity and they constantly crave of doing something new. The problem of diagnosing ADHD in children is that the parent or the guardian cannot easily distinguish whether the child is bored, restless or has the early symptoms of the disorder. For some expert, children who have ADHD are not only hyperactive but they also have a myriad of behavioural problems which makes taking care of them very difficult.

Because children who have ADHD are hyperactive and have impulsive behaviour, they frequently find it hard to blend in at school. This problem could lead to the child having no friends because he finds it hard to get along with the others. If the disorder is not treated early on, the child could carry this behavioural problem with him as he grows up. The support of the child's family is very important during this period.

Most children have problems regarding attention and concentration but this does not mean that they are hyperactive or impulsive. If this should be the case, children with these symptoms are usually diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD as opposed to ADHD. ADD can be misdiagnosed for ADHD because children who have ADD tend to be in a dream-like state and quiet as opposed to being disruptive. Intelligence and ADHD are not related and children with good intelligence can still have ADHD.

Can children out grow ADHD?

Some of the children who were diagnosed with ADHD can out grow the disorder but some of the problems closely associated with ADHD can still continue on until adolescence or even beyond. There is an estimated two out of five young children diagnosed with ADHD who will have problems related to the disorder when they reach the age of eighteen.

The primary symptoms of ADHD, like difficulty in attention, can get better when the child gets older but some of the behavioural problems like aggression and disobedience can become even worse if the child does not receive treatment. Recent researches have showed that aggressive and hyperactive boys tend to be unpopular with their peers. This concludes that it is very essential for the child to receive treatment as soon and as early as necessary to prevent the development and successive worsening of the behavioural problems.

Can medication help?

Recent studies have showed that stimulant medications produce short-term benefit for those with ADHD. Many people have attested to the impressive improvements that results with this kind of treatment. The medication calms the children down and they can easily mix with other children. The children who received such treatments were shown to respond effectively to their parents and teachers, have become less violent and hyperactive and had dramatic improvements in their scholastic performance.

One problem regarding the use of stimulant drugs is that these medications can be easily used and acquired to treat other behavioural problems that are not caused by ADHD. It is important to realize the limitations and what these drugs are capable of. Stimulant drugs should be prescribed to those who were assessed properly and had professional diagnosis. The drugs themselves do not cure ADHD but they can minimize the symptoms of the disorder. This also presents an opportunity for the children to learn how to manage their behaviour.

Advice for the parent

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it important that you understand your role in helping and understanding him control his behaviour. The parent should also know that ADHD is not the result of being a bad parent. There are ways on how the parent or guardian can communicate or play with the child to help them improve their behaviour and attention.

There are a lot of professional programs out there that are aimed to help the parents cope up. These programs focus more on the managing the behaviour of the child and includes plans and structural activities to encourage and praise the child for even the littlest of progress in their behaviour.

Advice for the teacher

The teacher can learn and think of a lot of ways to organize the lessons and classrooms to help the child with ADHD. For one thing, the classroom can be rearranged to minimize distractions such as reorganizing the seat plan for the child with ADHD. Children with ADHD should not sit near windows to avoid using tables with other classmates. More fun activities can be inserted during each lesson to alternate physical activities from those which require concentration. The teacher should set achievable and short goals to the child and give out rewards after the child has completed a task.