What Is ADHD?
What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological condition that causes kids to lose concentration and behaviors that, if left untreated, may make it difficult for them to effectively take part in school, social and family life. Children with ADHD can be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive, and many have a combination of these behaviors. Other learning disabilities or mental conditions can also accompany ADHD.
What symptoms should I look out for?
Symptoms include limited attention and hyperactivity.
The child falling into this category often gets labeled as lazy, spacey, ditzy or incompetent.
A child must have had 6 of the following 9 symptoms for more than six months to be diagnosed with ADHD/inattentive type:
- The child does not pay close attention to details, makes careless mistakes
- The child frequently has trouble keeping attention on tasks
- The child does not seem to listen when directly spoken to
- The child does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work or chores (because of failure to understand, not defiance)
- The child has issues organizing activities
- The child avoids or hates things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time.
- The child loses things needed for tasks and activities
- The child gets easily distracted
- The child is scatterbrained in daily activities
ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive Type
People consider hyperactive and impulsive kids as wild, obnoxious, spoiled problem children or, worst of all, or plainly they are termed as bad.
A child must have 6 of the following 9 symptoms for more than six months to be diagnosed with ADHD/hyperactive-impulsive type:
- Frequently fidgets with hands and feet or squirms in seat
- Frequently gets up from seat
- Often excessively runs about our climbs when not appropriate
- Frequently has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly
- Is on the go as if driven by a motor
- The child talks excessively
- The child blurts out answers before questions have been finished
- The child has trouble waiting his turn
- The child interrupts or intrudes on others
ADHD Combined Hyperactive-impulsive and Inattentive Type
This is the most common type of ADHD, with symptoms of both the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types. Not all children with ADHD display all the symptoms.
ADHD is more common in boys than. In toddlers and young children, symptoms often are noticeable in kids who are always on the go and can’t seem to sit still. Most children are diagnosed in elementary school because of inability to focus, make good decisions or plan things. Other signs include not letting others talk, having trouble sharing and taking turns, and inability to finish homework or errands.
It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This means that in a classroom of 24 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD. ADHD is not considered to be a learning disability.
There is no cure for ADHD, though both medical and psychological treatments can help control symptoms. Around one third of children seem to grow out of their disorder during adolescence, but the others find their ADHD persists into adult life.
ROLE OF DIET IN ADHD:
An ADHD diet that ensures getting adequate levels of the right foods optimizes brain function. Protein. Foods rich in protein — lean beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, soy, and low-fat dairy products — can have favorable effects on ADHD symptoms.
Many children with food sensitivities can exhibit ADHD symptoms after they are exposed to certain foods. Some of the common foods that can cause ADHD reactions include milk, chocolate, soy, wheat, eggs, beans, corn, tomatoes, grapes, and oranges.
What can I do to calm down the child when being hyper?
- Help the child burn off energy.
- Do peaceful activities.
- Spend time in natural locations.
- Divert the child with another activity.
- Use guided images and meditation.
- Practice breathing techniques.
- Practice yoga.
- Journal writing can be practiced.
How do I discipline my child?
Disciplinary strategies can be followed for a child with ADHD. This proves to be instrumental in bringing them up.
- Provide positive attention.
- Give operative directions.
- Appreciate your Child's Effort.
- Use Time-Out only when Necessary.
- Ignore mild misbehaviors.
- Institute a Reward System.
- Allow for Natural Significances.
How can I help my child when he/she has a meltdown?
- Maintain a balanced lifestyle for the child.
- Pick your battles.
- Follow a schedule.
- Set expectations.
- Be calm no matter what.
- Understand your child.
- Encourage deep breaths.
- Set rules for meltdowns.
How do I make use of the symptoms positively?
Attention: “Get Attention Before Giving Direction”
WE need to make sure the child is attentive before we start giving them instructions Take care not to yell across the house and instead, call out to them, tap on the shoulder, ask them to look you in the eye, or walk into their room.
Hyperactivity: “Allow Your Child to Not Be Still”
Whenever possible, permit your child to move around; save “sitting still” for essential times, like school or important events. Allow standing at the dinner table or jumping around in the kitchen. Let your active bunny be on the move.
Impulsivity: “Take Brain Breaks”
The brains of these kids need more breaks than typical kids. Make time for play after school, and between homework. Give them time for daydreaming to give their creative brains a chance to re-charge.
Organization: “Build in Processing Time”
Give them the time to think about things. Before jumping into “important” discussions, introduce an idea and let kids brainstorm on it for a while so they can pull their thoughts together.
Emotionality: “Make Mistakes Matter of Fact”
These kids get transmitted so often they feel they can do nothing right, which is draining for them. Instead of trying to hide the mistakes, show them how you learn from it. Make them understand everyone makes mistakes.
What should I not do?
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff?
Let’s be agreeable to make some compromises with the child. If the child has completed two of the three chores assigned, consider being lenient with the uncompleted task. After all its a learning process and even small steps count.
2.Don’t get astounded and lash out
Keep in mind that the behavior of the child is due to the disorder. It may not be visible on the outside, but it’s a disability and should be treated as such. When you begin to feel frustrated, recollect that your child can’t “come out of it” or “be normal.”
3.Don’t be negative
It sounds simple, but take things one day at a time and remember to keep it all in perspective.
4.Don’t let your child or the disorder take control
Keep in mind that we are the parent, and the rule makers for acceptable behavior at home. Be patient and encouraging, but don’t allow to be intimidated by your child’s behaviors.
How do I bring up my child?
Speak to your child about the health condition, explain relative to their age, use videos, images, to reassure them that ADHD is an acknowledge condition.
- comfort them that your love and the family’s love will never decrease, no matter what.
- Make an educated choice of school. There are very few educational institutions really adapted to ADHD learning style and behavior.
- Homeschooling or not? Homeschooling a child with ADHD can be extremely challenging, even for the expert teacher. It can be more than you can do and still love this child! He needs social interaction, even if he is not good at it. Isolation creates an artificial understanding of the world which will not match reality once he is back into the system.
- Involve your child into serious physical activity. Physical exercise improves brain function, improves oxygenation, improves biochemical activity in the brain. Make sure that your child exercises at least one hour a day.
- Learn about nutrition and healthy diet for children with ADHD. If your child is taking prescription stimulants, his appetite will be reduced so you will have to create small very healthy and nutritive snacks to eat during the day. Discuss with your pediatrician the proper intake of food and water for his age and size.
- Observe and discuss with him about his talents and passions. Focusing on improving something he loves doing is very important forms self-esteem and brain development.
- Organize daily sensory activities which will help brain development and biochemistry improvement.
- Sensory Enrichment is now recognized as a very powerful brain development therapy with no side effects. While children on the spectrum and children with ADHD are resistant to soft touch, observations have shown that when they are given daily hands and feet massage, for example right after bath or at bed time, those children gradually develop the ability to relax and ask for massages.
- Decrease the startling or tiring sensory information in the house: put the phones on vibrators, use floor lamps with dimmer.
- Appreciate your child for all efforts he makes and while being annoyed and irritated. Avoid all negative descriptive words of his behavior. Research has demonstrated that words, negative or positive have a very strong and lasting impact on children self-esteem.
- Cut down their sugar intake. It helps a lot.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks.
- Supplement their diet with Ginkgo biloba extract.
- If the psychiatrist prescribes a medication, don't act like it's not needed and they'd be fine without it if they just pay slightly more attention to whatever they're doing. Medication helps a lot.
- Create a schedule for them to follow which should include everything they do during the day.
- Make sure they are getting close to their ideal amount of sleep. Sleeping disorders are common in kids with ADHD. Keep in mind that your anger is not going to change this, if the child's already in bed but lying there awake, they're probably trying to fall asleep but they can't and getting angry will be rather counterproductive.
- Ask your psychologist if they think Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will be helpful. If they think that it'd help, make sure your child receives it.
- Your child's going to make silly mistakes (like doing subtraction instead of addition on a math test or missing out letters in a spelling test). Try to understand that it wasn't intentional.
- The child will probably have a pretty hard time staying still, don't be too hard on them for that.
- Encourage your child and build up their confidence instead of criticizing or demeaning them if they don't live up to your expectations. Stressing a person who has ADHD can aggravate their condition.