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It is often a problem to recognise whether a kid is naughty or has a problem. To recognise your kid's problem, here are some red flag signs.
- If your kid doesn't finish even 1 play activity and switches to next, then next, then it is an indication that something is wrong (Eg: switching tv channels in seconds, changing games on tab or mobile etc).
- If your kid doesn't wait for his/her turn while playing or talking and interrupts in between even on stopping.
- If your kid's hyperactivity doesn't let him/her complete even the activities of their liking like watching tv or coloring.
- If your child engages in dangerous activities like cutting, biting, breaking objects etc. without knowing what he/she is doing (exploratory play is not included)
- If the problematic behavior has begun after the age of 5-7 years
Why do kids have ADHD?
ADHD doesn't mean having a naughty child. It doesn't mean that your kid is troubling you on purpose. It doesn't mean that beating or punishing him/her will set the kid right. It doesn't mean a no-carbs, low fat, low preservative diet will make the kid alright. Diversion to high energy activities, sports will control the behavior.
NO.... NO... NO.... THESE ARE MYTHS!!!
ADHD is a brain disorder where the wiring between activity controlling centres of the brain and activity producing centres of the brain has been disrupted. This loss of control is producing the following behaviors in a child with ADHD:
- Hyperactivity: Running all over the place, unable to sit quietly in class or other places, unable to follow social decorum, runs away middle of a task.
- Inattention: Making silly mistakes while doing homework/classwork, unable to follow multistep commands, forgets easily, misplaces day to day thing like eraser, sharpener etc.
- Impulsivity: Speaks between two people, cant wait for his/her turn while answering questions or during play, throws objects, eats limitlessly, engages in dangerous play etc.
Why should I get my child treated, बड़ा होगा/ होगी तो ठीक हो जाएगा"
ADHD IS A DISORDER. If not treated in time, this is what can happen to your child:
- With age hyperactivity will decrease, but, inattention will increase. This means more problems in learning and studies, frequent silly mistakes, social embarrasments etc.
- Since these children often get scolded, they start developing defiant features by the age of 6-8 years, conduct disorder by teenage and antisocial personality disorder by the age of 18 years. This means your kid would initially not listen to your commands, they would back answer you and gradually start lying, stealing, fighting and bullying with other kids and engage in unsafe behavior in teenage.
- Due to high impulsivity, these children have higher risk of engaging in high risk behaviors in teenage like smoking, drinking, casual sex, tattooing etc.
- Comorbid disorders like learning disability, mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder are extremely common in these kids.
Is it treatable? What is the best thing to do for my child?
YES... YES.. YES...
ADHD is very much treatable. There is an option of using medicines and psychological method (mainly cognitive exercises).
- Medicines are good for kids who have moderate to severe ADHD. They cannot comply with cognitive exercises until controlled with medicines. Medicines too have their side effects, but without them, the kid would start falling behind. Hence, benefits out wiegh the risks.
- Cognitive exercises like attention enhancing tasks, assertiveness training, anger management works well with these kids. Particularly, attention enhancing tasks work well with kids who have mild to moderate severity of the disorder. When done in long term, these tasks also help in gradually withdrawing the medicines in these children.
Kids are never medicated with the aim of making them dependent on treatment or turning them into zombies. They are our future. And FUTURE NEEDS CAREFUL HANDLING.
Please feel free to ask any questions!