All You Want to Know About ADHD
A toddler aging between 3-5 years – running around, being hyperactive, being talkative, inattentive, stubborn, and terrible moody, and being a little snappy seems to be like a very normal child behavior. But after going to school, when this behavior is carried forward to the schooling days, the child is tagged as “PROBLEMATIC”!! After the assessment by a child psychologist, “YOUR CHILD IS ADHD”, this is the most devastating thing for the parents to hear!!
“ADHD / ADD Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder is a chronic condition, that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems such as difficulty sustaining attention hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.” – MAYO CLINIC OCCURRENCE
The SYMPTOMS of ADHD occur before 12 years of age. This is mostly seen in pre-school age children, which starts as early as 3 years. Hence, it goes unnoticed and brushed off as a part of CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR. But these SYMPTOMS become more predominant when the child reaches the actual school-going age. The symptoms can range between, mild, to moderate and also severe. And when unattended, this continues into adulthood too.
ADHD is more often found in boys than girls. Boys are generally more hyperactive with other traits being noticeable. Whereas girls are more silent and inattentive type. Hence it goes unnoticed.
Challenges to deals with ADHD
These ADHD children have a problem in carrying out their day to day activities. They need help with their everyday life. Lacing one’s shoes, getting ready or doing homework which is a normal activity for any child of their age, this is almost a herculean task for them. Learning (education) is a major challenge as they suffer inattentiveness.
This problem continues in their adulthood too when not attended on time. This further aggravates their situation and they suffer very low self-esteem issues. So the earlier the intervention the better, this rule applies.
Genetic and Co-Morbidity
ADHD is a genetic disorder. That means it a different brain wiring in simple words and it is passed on from one generation to the other. If anyone of the very close/ immediate family member has ADHD then the child might have it too.
ADHD generally comes in a package deal. That is, there are high chances of child suffering from, Dyslexia, Autism spectrum disorder, Dyscalculia, and other mental or neurological disorders. Sometimes, as there is no comorbidity and no other issues, this situation goes unnoticed and the child suffers in silence.
Causes of ADHD
Generally, the causes for ADHD are GENETIC. But there are other reasons too that can lead to the birth of a child with ADHD.
- Smoking and drinking by the mother during her pregnancy
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- Exposure to POLLUTANTS with harmful chemicals like LEAD etc.
- It’s due to lack of DOPAMINE and a different BRAIN WIRING
- When any of the close family members like father, mother, uncles, grandfather have ADHD.
Symptoms of ADHD
ADHD children and adults show some typical symptoms. Most of the time, looking at their behavioral issues, and due to lack of awareness, and acceptance, these children and adults are looked down upon as a product of Bad Parenting.
- Hyperactivity and inability to sit in one place
- Lack of focus
- Very short attention span
- Terrible mood swings
- Generally snappy and bullying behavior
- Lack of control over emotions
- Show disability in learning, that has severe learning issues
- Destructive thoughts and behavior pattern
- They seek constant attention
- Poor socializing skills. Almost difficulty in socializing
- They always feel lonely
- Getting into substance abuse, when they are into teenage or in their adulthood
- Very difficult to control their mind and thoughts Almost more than 100 thoughts flicker into their mind every minute or say every second
- Difficult or unstable relationships when they grow up
- Impulsive behavior
- Other behavioral problems
- Suffer from low self-esteem and low self-confidence
- Abusive behaviour
Because of their behavioral issues, these kids are mostly outcasted by family, friends, teachers, and society. Hence they feel lonely most of the time. Their EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is always at stake. This further aggravates their destructive behavior.
We have already discussed a few of the behavior patterns as suggested by DSM 4.
Now let’s look at the POSITIVE TRAITS OF ADHD
The POSITIVE TRAIT OF ADHD often goes unnoticed due to a lack of awareness, knowledge, and preset wrong notions about ADHD.
- These children/ adults are hyper-focused individuals
- They can think out of the box
- They are risk-takers when grow up into adults
- They are great innovators. World’ great scientists and innovators are from the lot of ADHD
- They are CREATIVE GENIUS
- Great multi-taskers
- They are FUTURISTIC MINDED
- They are MULTI-TALENTED. World’ most talented folks are ADHDs
- They are the PROBLEM SOLVERS
- They are HIGHLY ENERGETIC kids/ adults
There are many other POSITIVE TRAITS OF ADHD, which make them “SPECIAL ONES”. But unfortunately, due to their behavior issues, they are often mistaken as “CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS”, or “MENTALLY CHALLENGED”. World’s great scientists, painters, writer’s business biggies, musicians, top-level CEOs are ADHDs.
ADHD Geniuses in the World
- Justin Bieber
- Thomas Alva Edison
- Walt Disney
- Leo Nardo Da Vinci
- Elon Musk
- Are to name a few
Assessment and Treatment and Medication
Generally, this assessment is done by a child psychologist available at school. But apart from assessment, these children require teamwork of psychiatrist, counseling psychologist, class teacher, and parents. The doctor will prescribe them a few medications to put the situation under control. These kids lack DOPAMINE naturally and hence depend on a lot of other activities ( HYPER ACTIVE BEHAVIOUR) to develop DOPAMINE. Hence, these children find it difficult to sit in one place and they keep shifting from one task to another very quickly. Generally, the medication is given as per the situational requirement.
- Medication mostly consists of DOPAMINE and related medicines. But medication still has a Biased opinion as long term usage of these medicines has many hazardous side effects.
- Apart from this the children and their family need COUNSELING to deal with the situation using various strategies.
- Teachers play a vital role in the assessment of the development, learning, and behavioural development of these children. Parents have to work in close association with teachers to come up with more creative learning strategies as these children learn differently or say more KINESTHETICALLY.
- CBT helps them to keep a check on their BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES. CBT AND COUNSELLING SESSIONS help a lot in improvising their condition.
- Under no circumstances these children/ adult can miss their dosage of medicines and therapy sessions. Unless and until it is halted by the PSYCHIATRIST or THERAPIST.
- Practicing YOGA and MEDITATION works wonders for the ADHDs. This calms down their nerves and HYPER ACTIVE mind.
- Generally, ADHD children have low immunity levels, as all their energy goes into their HYPER ACTIVITY. Hence DIET plays a vital role in their case. A LOW CARB, HIGH PROTEIN and HIGH FIBRE diet works wonders for these people.
- Food with high SUGAR content, STARCH content, CHOCOLATES further deteriorate their condition.
- While prescribing any medicines, the Doctor must be informed about their situation. As, certain medications, especially STEROIDS have an adverse affect on them as STEROIDS increase HYPER ACTIVITY.
ADHD children are neither mentally retarded or a product of bad parenting. These children/ adults need unconditional love and empathy. As adults, they need a very understanding and supportive life partner. They do not seek sympathy. But they need to be valued for what they are, been understood and accepted socially. These children learn differently than others. Hence more creative strategies are to be used while teaching them. They are just wired differently!! The lack of DOPAMINE and different brain wiring makes them ADHD. But as they are always tagged negatively, their POSITIVE TRAITS are always overlooked. One has to be very patient while dealing with ADHDs. Lot of POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, and LOVE makes them feel worth and they start to work on a Positive Note.
Hence when these children and ADHD adults become aware of their true STRENGTHS, their TRUE POTENTIAL is unleashed!!
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