ADHD or attention deficit disorder has become one of the major concerns amongst parents as children diagnosed with the disorder, battle to concentrate and very often have severe behaviour problems. It is often not easily diagnosed as many pre-school children, are hyperactive and impulsive but as they mature, they usually grow out of this phase.
Children with ADHD do not grow out of the hyperactive phase and as their schooling career continues, they find it increasingly difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. Classroom lessons require a fair amount of focus and stillness which children with this disorder battle to do.
Over the years more awareness has been raised about ADHD and it is now a widely accepted condition, with treatable solutions and coping mechanisms for children. More children are diagnosed with ADHD each day and it is not clearly known why. There is more pressure for children to perform well academically at school, as getting into university and getting a good job requires focus and hard work. The stress of school performance could add unwanted pressure to children, particularly those with ADHD.
Modern medicine means we have resorted to drugs to get children with ADHD to concentrate and correct their behaviour on a daily basis. ADHD is one of the most studied medical conditions, particularly in children. Each year more children are not only being diagnosed with ADHD but they are also being treated for long periods of time, with little knowledge of the long-term effects of the drugs used for treatment. Doctor Hallowell an expert psychiatrist in the field of ADHD says, “in my opinion ADHD is a terrible term. As I see it, ADHD is neither a disorder, nor is there a deficit of attention. I see ADHD as a trait, not a disability. When it is managed properly, it can become a huge asset in one’s life. I have both ADHD and dyslexia myself.” Dr. Hallowell has an extensive website with short videos on topics, from explaining ADHD to a child, brain exercises that improve attention and medication for ADHD. If your child has or may have ADHD, this is an excellent source to find all the necessary information you may need.
The following behaviour patterns could be an indication that your child may have ADHD:
- Continuously fidgets, squirms in their seat and is generally always restless.
- Does not sit still even when asked to do so.
- Your child gets distracted easily but something else.
- Your child finds it difficult to follow instructions and often does the opposite.
- Your child suddenly changes whatever activity they were doing to something totally new.
- Your child often engages in reckless or dangerous behaviour without thinking of the consequences.
- Your child always loses things that are needed for school, e.g. his/her lunch box or blazer.
If you think your child may have any of these symptoms for an extended period of time, consider getting a professional ADHD diagnosis.