Is your child having ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder?)
ADHD in children is becoming normal or high. With a study done here in Kenya, there is an increase from 18% to 45%.
What are the main symptoms of ADHD?
- Hyperactivity: the child cannot stay for a long time in the same place, keeps on fidgeting compared to other children, meaning he/she is all over.
- Inattention: attention span is very short or minimal compared to his peers.
- Impulsivity: the child is always on the go and would have trouble waiting for his turn and would constantly and frequently interrupt conversations.
The ADHD tree gives the artistic representation of ADHD. It shows probable causes, core symptoms, and its representation.
- Roots represent the probable causes of ADHD(head trauma, biological life events, genetic predisposition)
- Trunk represents the three core symptoms of ADHD(hyperactive, inattention, impulsivity)
- Fruits represent the various presentation of the core systems(social problems, problems in organizing daily tasks, anxiety disorders)
Interventions of ADHD
First, you have to know the symptoms your child is portraying and take them to a doctor or a clinician for assessment before you embark on interventions
- Various forms of intervention are but are not limited to medication, Mindfulness Training, Gaming, Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Cognitive Behavior therapy, Elimination Diet, Sports/aerobic activities.
- Patient-focused: treatment would focus on reducing the symptoms of ADHD (hyper activeness, impulsivity, inattention). A different approach can be used for different patients or a combination of various options.
- Parent focused: parents require frequent training to understand ADHD and the various ways supporting their children. Parents require support groups.
- School focused: trainers or teachers need to know about ADHD. This will help them understand the nature of this disorder. Training will help them learn behavior modification techniques to increase desirable behaviors and decrease undesirables.
A point to note is that you impose a mode of treatment that is not acceptable, it will fail. Patients, families, and schools should be on the same page for the wellbeing of the client.
Tips for parents and caregivers
- Parents or the caregiver should spend a lot of time with the children, and note down any symptoms of ADHD. This can help the doctor
- Have a strong relationship with your child and take time to participate in their interest
- Praise them often when they do good
- Taking care of yourself(your emotional being), it’s tough to give what you don’t have
- Establish clear rules and follow through regularly and consistently, with the positive and negative consequences.
Tips for school administrators and teachers
- Be knowledgeable about ADHD and the various treatment the student is using
- Keep in touch with the therapist/parent. Learn as much as you can and also give feedback to them too
- Build a positive relationship with the student
- Also, establish clear rules and consistently follow through with the positive/negative consequence.
When ADHD is well managed, these children can live like normal children.
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