The abbreviation ADHD stands for Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder. It mostly affects kids under the age of 12. Despite the big name, it is a condition that can be treated with a combination of drugs and therapy. Children suffering from ADHD find it hard to focus on any given activity. They lose concentration fast, can’t sit still or play quietly and have an impulsive behavior.
To the layman, such a child is simply naughty. Won’t pay attention in class, disturbs others, hardly follows instructions and is a poor performer. This is the kid that is always on the detention list.
However, a child can only be so naughty. If this behavior persists, it is advisable to see a specialist. ADHD has been known to run in families; another important consideration that you should take into account. It is not exactly clear what causes this condition, but experts suggest that victims have reduced activity in the area of the brain that controls attention.
The diagnosis of ADHD does not require any lab tests. The doctor listens to the parents and teachers concerning the behavior of the kid and from there makes the conclusions. If the condition is detected, the measures that can be taken include:
- Counselling/therapy sessions to help restore the child’s self -esteem. A child with ADHD undergoes a lot of scolding and judging before the condition is diagnosed. Such children need reassurance that they can get better and do the right thing. They’re also taught how to handle negativity and frustration.
- There’s medication available in form of stimulants that help these children increase their attention span. These should only be taken under a prescription since they can have side effects. They can also create dependence such that a child is not able to function normally without them.
- Although some can manage in the normal schools, special schools are advised for severe cases. Here the child can be given specialized attention and taught at a suitable pace. In the normal schools, the poor kids end up looking silly since they can hardly grasp the lessons and pass tests like their peers.
- The kids function better when they follow a routine. Even at home, you’re encouraged to come up with a time-table that sets aside the time for each activity. Once they do the same thing at the same time every day, it gets easier to adapt.
- The children should be fed on a healthy diet, avoiding junk food at all cost. Their meals should be high in proteins. Go for complex carbs such as whole grains instead of simple carbs such as white bread.
- The time spent watching TV should be limited and instead engage in games, puzzles and blocks that will stimulate brain activity. Let the child learn to think, calculate, organize and solve problems.
Remember the health of a child starts while still in the womb. Research has shown that taking alcohol, cigarettes and drugs when pregnant increases the chances of ADHD. Go clean during pregnancy for the sake of your baby.
Next time you see a persistently ‘naughty’ child; think twice before the spank.