When your child is suffering with ADHD

Posted by Pooja Banerjee on Tue, Apr 7, 2015  
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a deficit in behavioural inhibition. Commonly characterized by the symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness; it starts in childhood and may well persist into adulthood. The symptoms associated with ADHD can not only hamper your life in school or at home but also affect your relationships negatively. The disease has been described to be a lifelong neurological disorder.

What exactly is ADHD?

ADHD is a disorder of the brain occuring commonly in childhood and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Studies on brain imaging have brought forth the fact that the growth and development of the brain in youth with ADHD follows normal pattern but is delayed by almost 3 years. The delay in the development affects mostly the thinking, attention and planning. The cortex in the brain also shows delayed growth along with an abnormal growth pattern exhibited by the two halves of the brain.

ADHD is generally characterized by different symptoms which include problems in focussing or inability to concentrate, difficulty in controlling behaviour and hyper activity. This kind of behaviour in a child suffering with ADHD makes it difficult for him to perform or get along with other children in school.

The drawback

The major drawback with ADHD is that currenty there is no cure for the disease. There are various treatments available which can relieve the symptoms but no intervention can make the condition go away completely. The silver lining in the cloud is that current and ongoing research has been attempting to develop more effective interventions and treatment modalities which can help the child in leading a successful and productive life.

ADHD in children

Children are mostly affected with ADHD and the main characteristics exhibited by them are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The diagnosis is difficult in children because children mostly show these behaviours. When the symptoms become more severe and persistent for at least 6 months and to a greater degree when compared with other children then the child should be given medical help.

Should you blame yourself for your child's condition?

Though there is no confirmed evidence about the cause of ADHD but it has been noted that genes play a significant role in causing the condition. There are certain genes which are being studied as a cause to develop the disorder. A research study has concluded that a particular gene may lead to a thinner brain tissue in those areas of the brain which are associated with attention.

Other factors that may also cause ADHD are environmental factors such as smoking or alcohol and injury to the brain tissues. Some researchers say that use of refined sugar or food additives can also cause damage to the brain causing ADHD.

Treatments available for ADHD

The main aim of the treatment available for ADHD is to reduce the symptoms and improve brain functioning. For this the available treatment includes medication, use of different types of psychotherapy, education and training or a combination of treatments. The professional treatment of ADHD can be summarized as follows;

1. Child and adolescent psychiatrist diagnose ADHD and prescribe medicines.

2. Psychologists help in diagnosis and offering talk therapy to the child.

3. Cognitive behavioural therapists are specialists who design behaviour modification programs for the child at home and school, establish acheivable goals of therapy and also provide support to the families and teachers in taking care of the child.

4. Educational specialists help the child by teaching techniques for succeeding in school, and advise parents about use of different technologies.

What works best for your child?

Medical intervention have been studied to be of great help in improving behaviour, cognitive and social functioning of people. It has also been stated that educational interventions have proven to be of greatest help when compared with all other types of intervention.

Psychotherapy is important for your child as the therapist can teach children social skills. Behavioural therapy can help the child in controlling his behaviour. In this regard parents and teachers can give positive or negative feedback and help the child.

Before choosing the appropriate treatment for your child you should know that medication is not the only answer and everyone responds differently to medicines. The treatment for ADHD starts at home. Parents  have a huge influence over their child's treatment.

Parents play the most important role of providing guidance and understanding to their children so that they can reach their full potential and succeed in school and future life. Parents should take parenting skills traning  to be able to help the child and control and improve his behaviour. Parents are also suggested to share pleasant, fun and relaxing activity with the child to try to find out their child's strength. Parents should also learn ways to manage their stress so that they are also capable of dealing with their frustration. A calm and controlled parent can help the child in a much better way. It is also noted that sometimes the entire family needs therapy. Support groups and talks with expert can enable the parent and the family to handle disruptive behaviour and encourage positive behaviour changes in the child.

 

 

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