7 year old John can't sit still in his seat and drives everyone crazy at home and school. He cannot still for long enough to get his homework or chores done. John is a typical case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD where there is inappropriate level of concentration, attention and distractibility. Since the 1990s, the number of cases of ADHD in the US has increased drastically - from 950,000 in 1990 to 2.4 million in 1996. We bring you examples of attention deficit disorder children and try to understand this syndrome.
ADHD - Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is indicated by hyperactive behavior and difficulty in concentration. While some kids display only signs of inattention, others are hyperactive and inattentive. ADHD kids are always fidgety and restless and cannot sit still for long. They interrupt others and are always restless and running about.
It is estimated that about 3-5% of school-going children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It may persist into adulthood in approximately 10% to 50% of individuals. The actual cause for ADHD is not known though one of the theories is that some people do not have enough neurotransmitters that can control behavior. Often ADHD is genetic. Boys are three times more likely than girls to have ADHD.
Diagnosing attention deficit hyperactive disorder is essential to help understand the problem. The diagnosis of ADHD is a collaborative effort between teachers, parents and physicians. It could include medical evaluation along with assessment of cognitive ability and IQ and review of school performance.
Speech and language evaluation is also conducted. ADHD is often accompanied by some other behavioral or emotional problem. Children with ADHD tend to experience adverse effects in academic and social and emotional development. The ADHD child may squirm, fidget, and climb or run when it is not appropriate. The levels of inattention and hyperactivity compromise the child's daily functioning.
Such a child is usually allowed to learn along with peers but special attention needs to be paid to his unique needs. A teacher may need to give him extra time to complete assignments and may need to seat him in an area with few distractions.
A child suffering from ADHD needs support in monitoring and controlling his behavior and attention levels. He needs to be supported with good teaching methods that help focus and remember. Treatment for ADHD includes behavioral therapy and medication. This would involve the family and school.
Parents and teachers would need to learn strategies to modifying the child's behavior and reward him appropriately. This includes problem solving, open and effective communication skills, anger management or conflict resolution. The child needs to be taught social skills and behaviors. Medication for ADHD is restricted to amphetamine-like stimulants such as Ritalin and Dexedrine.
They reduce hyperactivity among children and help them focus their attention. Behavioral improvements such as lesser aggression and forgetfulness are also noticed. But the side effects of this Class A drug are insomnia, loss of appetite and weight loss. The child may experience sadness, depression and sleepiness.