ADHD is a common word we hear in school which is often misused in describing an active Childs behaviour. Most times, children are misdiagnosed and put on terrible medication without needing them which leads to an increase in dependency and similar symptoms when weaned off of them. some studies show that these children are commonly predisposed to drug use later on in life due to their need for dependency on a substance for feeling regulated. But thats a story for another day!
September 14th marks National Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Day. ADHD is the most common disorder in children affecting 2-16% of the school aged population.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refers to a cluster of symptoms characterised by a persistent pattern of short attention span, poor concentration, impulsive behaviour and hyperactivity.
– Hyperactive behaviour:- very energetic- difficulty going to bed- poor sleeping patters- restlessness- tendency to fidget
– Concentration/ Attention deficits:- Poor cognitive endurance- Day-dreaming- Easily distracted- Unable to concentrate unless fascinated by subject- Often loses things/ makes mistakes- Does not finish/complete tasks- Gets tired during activities that require concentration – Shifts from one incomplete task to another
Behavioural problems:- acting without thinking about the consequences
– Does not listen to or follow instructions- has to have needs satisfied immediately- talks excessively- makes careless mistakes- Failure to respond to discipline – Temper tantrums – Trouble waiting their turn- interrupting
– Emotion regulation difficultiesl problems:- Aggressive behaviour- Destructive behaviour- Easily frustrated- Cries easily- Disruptive at home and school- Withdrawn behaviour can occur- Poor self-esteem/ rapid mood swings- Intolerance for change in immediate environment – Refuses cuddles/affection
– Developmental influences:- Oversensitivity to sounds/textures- Motor skills and visual perceptual skills are not sufficiently developed – Difficulty with reasoning (simple mathematics)- Lack of organisational skills – School failure despite normal/high intelligence – – Poor appetite
All children are going to exhibit some of these behaviors at some point. Daydreaming, fidgeting, and persistent interruptions are all common behaviors in children.
You should start thinking about the next steps if:
– Your child regularly displays signs of ADHD
– This behavior is affecting their success in school and leading to negative interactions with peers/home environment.
ADHD is treatable. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, review all of the treatment options.
Then, set up a time to meet with your friendly Occupational Therapist to determine the best course of action! Always be informed of your options!