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ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Written and reviewed by
Fellowship In Neonatology, MRCPCH(UK), Diploma In Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician, Delhi  •  33 years experience
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Here are Symptoms of ADHD and how to handle the Children suffering with ADHD.

Good afternoon, I am Dr. Lata Bhat. I am a pediatrician who is specially trained for newborn care and developmental problems of children. Today, I am going to talk about one of the conditions which is very common. It is known as ADHD- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Many of you may have read about it in the newspapers or online. About 8-10% of schoolchildren have this problem. Now this is not a disease, so you need not be scared of this problem. All you need to know is to understand the kids and provide support and this is essential both by the parents and teachers. These kids have generally poor concentration, very easily distractible that means even if a door bell rings or a horn or if somebody is playing music or television or if somebody in the surroundings is talking and laughing their concentration gets distracted. They may or may not be hyperactive because the core component is lack of concentration which affects their studies. But they may be impulsive which means they may act without thinking. They may land up into frequent fights because of that. They may have certain behavioral issues which teachers and parents may find difficult to handle. They may have learning disability which can be because of lack of concentration or it can be specific learning disability.

Now, there is no need to get worried about it. All you need to do is to contact a developmental pediatrician, get the right assessment done. Then come to the management of these children. First and foremost, is how the parents and teachers handle the children are very important. They need a lot of attention, so kindly give it but it should be positive attention. Always praise and encourage for whatever good they do, never criticize. If there is a bad behavior, you first explain to them and then if it’s a very small kid you can sometimes just track them so that they get distracted from the bad behavior and calm down. There is something called household roles.

You can fix certain household roles, routines so that children can understand the do’s and dont’s which itself takes care of 50% of the problems. Still if they behave badly, you can count up to 10 and then there is something called time-out. Time-out means 1 minute per year of each, if it’s a 5 year old child then 5 minutes; it means that lights off, TV off, nobody is talking to them, physical, visual and verbal attention- all three are not given by anybody in the house and the child is made to sit in a corner. At the end of it, you hug the child and tell them that the child is very good but the behavior was bad so that the child does not lower his self-esteem because self-esteem of a child is supreme. Your behavior should always uplift the self-esteem of your child.

Secondly, what you have to remember is never criticize or compare him with any other child and all the adults should follow the household rules consistently. Coming to studies, they have a very short attention span. So set short targets for studies and give breaks in between. They need 1:1 attention for studies which means somebody has to sit with them while they are studying at home either the tutor or the parent. In school, the teacher should make sure that they are sitting in the front row, close to teacher, away from doors and windows and give them a little extra attention. Apart from this, you also need to remember that you have to decrease the TV, video, mobile and computer watching. These lead to hyperactivity. You also need to limit the amount of chocolates and fast food intake. Remember, by understanding the condition, you and the teacher can really make a difference to the child’s future.

For any other further information, you can contact me on lybrate.com.

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