ADHD is a chronic condition that affects millions of children around the world. It is a kind of neurodevelopmental disorder that is diagnosed in childhood, continues through adolescence and lasts into adulthood. It can lead to attention deficit problems, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors. They also face low self-esteem, difficulty in keeping up relationships, and poor performance at school. Though they will be able to prevail over a few symptoms, it cannot be completely cured. But, learning a few strategies to overcome this would be helpful to succeed in life.
ADHD as a disorder may not be noticed in children until they go to school. The various common symptoms found in children can be grouped under 3 main characteristic features: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity.
A child with ADHD will often show the following symptoms of inattentiveness:
- Difficulty in remembering and focusing on daily activities, tasks, or play.
- Difficulty in doing school homework correctly.
- Disorganized and easily distracted.
- Carelessness and messy with work.
- Difficulty in keeping time management.
- Inattentiveness while communicating with others or switch topics without following social rules.
- Frequently move from one task to another, without completing the former one.
Hyperactivity varies with age. It may seem more in toddlers and preschoolers who would be constantly active and would face many difficulties in participating in group activities. They run and climb a lot when it’s not appropriate and talk excessively. Hyperactivity may be a little less in school children than toddlers and preschoolers. They talk a lot and are unable to be seated for some time.
3. Impulsive behavior
Without thinking about the consequences, children with ADHD disorder may do risky things and may even put themselves in danger. They are very impatient. They may interrupt or intrude on others’ conversations and activities as they have difficulty waiting for his or her turn. They often knock over objects or bang into people. Children with this disorder often find difficulty at home and school or visiting friends and relatives as they may not be able to function like other children who may be around the same age.
Though studies couldn’t find the actual reason for ADHD, certain factors are known to contribute to this disorder. The risk factors are as follows:
- Certain medications during pregnancy
- Alcohol consumption or usage of cigarette during pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- During pregnancy, exposure to chemicals or toxins
- Injuries in brain
ADHD can be identified during early childhood through evaluations based on symptoms. According to the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), kids from four years can be given ADHD diagnosis tests. Sometimes a preschooler may simply show frustrations in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Hence, careful evaluations by a good and experienced doctor with the help of his or her parents is very necessary.
ADHD education, and individual and family counseling: The treatment starts with educating the parents all about ADHD disorder. Frequent counseling sessions with the parents is kept by the therapist counselors.
- Behavioral Therapy
The best treatment for ADHD for toddlers is Behavioral Therapy. This treatment is given to the toddlers with the help of parents and teachers through various techniques which improves the child’s self-control, self-esteem, and behavior. Effective communication with the child, praising and rewarding for good behavior and ignoring bad behavior, bringing out structure and routine in their daily activities, etc are the main techniques involved in this. Parents are the most influential persons in a child’s behavior. The therapy involves training parents regularly by reviewing their progress and adjusting strategies, as needed. The parents should learn and practice this therapy for their kids with time and effort so that they will be able to help their children to overcome their difficulties to cope up with school, home, and in relationships with lasting benefits. Children with ADHD, below 6 years of age, have to be monitored by giving Behavioral Therapy before prescribing medicines. Medication may be given along with Behavioral Therapy only if it’s found essential for the child’s well being. As the children below 6 years are more sensitive with the ingredients of such medicines which may bring negative effects on the kid. So the decision has to be taken by a pediatrician along with parents after careful evaluations of the kid. For children above 6 years, medication can be given along with Behavioral Therapy as the pediatrician suggests.
If the pediatrician has prescribed medicines for the child, it’s essential to understand the following:
- Different choices available and their effects and side effects
- The time period needed for it to become effective for the kid and how long the child will have to take it
- Other options if the medicine doesn’t work and does the medication need to be tapered off?
Such inquiries would help the parents to plan to take care of the child with side effects, if any, like for example sleep problems, loss of appetite, weight loss, social withdrawal, etc. Talk to the pediatrician as required for adjusting the dose and timing of medication if it’s found beneficial for the child.
If the child shows signs of ADHD, it is important to get a consultation from a Pediatrician or Family Doctor. Careful evaluations and treatments for ADHD are given at KION Pediatrics, a Children’s Clinic Jonesboro AR. This is a heavenly place for children to get evaluations done, as the kind and friendly nature of Dr. Kris and his staff give them security, safety, and hope. Book an appointment with KION Pediatrics to get the evaluations done for your child: call 870-333-5466.
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