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ADHD - Some Facts

Permalink 22/05/10 08:15, by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Child Development, Childminders and Childminding , Tags: adhd, behaviour, behavioural disorder

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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioural condition affecting up to 3% children and is more common in boys. The symptoms of ADHD can be highly disruptive and have a severe impact on early development, they fall into three main areas:

  1. hyperactivity
  2. impulsivity
  3. inattention

To get a diagnosis of ADHD symptoms must

  • be present for six months or more
  • be greater than the expected levels for the age and intelligence of the child
  • have a negative impact on two settings (home, school, playgroup)
  • have developed before age 7
  • not be caused by mood, personality or another similar disorder.

 

1. Hyperactivity:

This is where a child:

  • fidgets with hands or feet the whole time
  • gets up when told to sit down
  • runs about in an inappropriate manner
  • can't play quietly
  • talks all the time
  • damages other's toys or spoils games
  • plays too roughly
  • has poor motor skills (cannot throw or catch a ball)

Effects:

Low self-esteem as children don't want to play with them

Isolation because friends seem not to be accommodating and lose interest/patience

Educational success can be impacted as they don't hear lessons or understand instructions

 

2. Impulsivity

The child often:

  • blurts out answers
  • can't wait for his turn
  • interrupts

Effects:

socially clumsy as they speak without thinking

barge into games so spoils other peole's fun

have mood swings and be volatile

lash out when frustrated

embarrass parents or hurt them with their words and actions especially in company

underachieve at school because they rush or don't listen to the whole question

 

3. Inattention

The child often:

  • has poor attention to detail
  • has difficulty sustaining attention
  • doesn't seem to listen
  • can't follow instructions
  • can't organise tasks or activities
  • avoids tasks that sustain mental effort
  • is easily distracted
  • is forgetful

Effects:

Forgets rules of a game and makes silly mistakes so other children avoid them

Exasperates parents when they do not do as told

Inattention at school could lead to inability to grasp handwriting or doing structured work

 

However, there is evidence to suggest that early diagnosis and management of the condition may help avoid long term consequences.  The main challenge for professionals is to diagnose, treat and support the children and families.



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