So many people claim that children's unruly behaviour is down to them having 'ADHD' but can bad behaviour in a child be simply explained away by labeling them with such a tag? For some children the diagnosis of 'Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder' is accurate, but for so many it's just not the case.
What is it? ADHD is a medical term which originally comes from the North American Psychiatric Association.
It is said that ADHD effects up to three percent of the population. It is usually associated with boys rather than girls.
A child has ADHD if:
But even children who demonstrate all or some of these things are not necessarily suffering from ADHD. It needs to be repeated, unintentional behaviour and diagnosed by a professional. If you think your child might be suffering have a chat to the teacher, doctor or health professional for advice and help.
There is obviously no single answer to the question of why children bully one another, but usually it comes down to being someone who is blind to the needs of others and overly sensitive to their own needs. Bullying is a type of behavior and with that in mind, it can be either inherent or learned. Inherent behavior is what a child is born with. Learned behavior is something that the child has learned from others.
If your child is a bully, you need to think about whether he or she is a born bully or has learned this behavior. It may be a mix of both.
Born Bully - A born bully starts bullying when he or she is a toddler. It can be only occasional and only mild bullying, but nonetheless, if there is evidence of bullying from an early age, and there is no apparent case of learned bullying from other sources, it can be concluded the bullying is inherent. The solution is to seek guidance from a therapist, child psychologist or psychiatrist.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) manifests itself through impatient, impulsive, energetic and aggressive behaviour. This may take the form of bullying but is slightly different.
Learned Bully - A calm child may turn into a bully once he or she learns bullying from another source and copies.
Non Permanent Bully
Some children bully occasionally: they may have recently suffered a trauma such as a death of a parent, a divorce, the birth of a new sibling or being under pressure.
Long Term Bullies: why do they do it?
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:
To get a diagnosis of ADHD symptoms must
This is where a child:
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
The child often:
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
The child often:
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.
We all want our little ones to grow up fit and healthy, and diet plays an important role in making sure our children develop well. Go back a decade and the indgredients listed on many manufactured foods were littered with E numbers, thankfully there are fewer in most foods now, and many children's foods have no E numbers listed at all. Does that mean we are avoiding E numbers in our diet? ...and are E numbers necessarily a bad thing?
What are E Numbers?
E numbers are codes assigned to food additives. E numbers are assigned their number when they have passed safety tests and are deemed safe to include in food, so an E number is actually a mark of safety. The numbers are assigned within the European Union and only apply to foodstuffs within the EU.
What do E Numbers do to our Food?
Additives designated with E numbers are there to preserve or improve the perceived quality and shelf life of the food. They serve various purposes:-
Are E Numbers Safe?
The designation of an E number is a statement that the substance has passed safety tests and is deemed safe to eat. However, the Food Standards Agency concedes that additives in certain combinations have been linked to negative effects on children's behaviour. Although single foodstuffs won't have such combinations in them, consuming a variety of foods with the different additives may lead to hyperactivity and even the condition Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Some additives can cause allergic reactions, inducing asthma or nettle rash. Benzoates (E210 - E219), Sulphites (E220 - E228) and Tartrazine (E102) all carry higher risk and foods must be labelled if they contain these above a certain level.
Whilst parents will want to avoid over exposure to E numbers, it is impossible to avoid them completely. Additives are not always listed with their E number, largely because consumers became quite anti them during the 1990's, but they do have to be listed in the ingredients by name. Many E numbers are assigned to completely natural products, such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), sulphur dioxide (produced naturally during fermentation of beers and wine) and indeed many food colourings. However, just because these compounds are natural, it does not mean they are necessarily fit for human consumption in large quantities! Parents are right to minimise the consumption of E numbers as best as possible, but complete avoidance is almost impossible in this day and age.
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