ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Recently, many parents, teachers, psychologists are faced with children whose motor activity goes beyond the notions of just a mobile child. Most children are mobile, impulsive, emotional, but at the same time they are attentive and can follow the instructions of adults.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a violation of cognitive processes (attention) associated with the manifestation of a chronic disorder of brain functions, manifested in behavior, relationships and social environment.

Hyperactivity – a condition in which the activity and excitability of a person exceeds the norm. If such behavior is a problem for others, hyperactivity acts as a behavioral disorder. Hyperactivity is a sign of an unbalanced nervous system.

Attention deficit – difficulty concentrating, holding, concentrating, distributing attention.

Hyperactive children are overly mobile, overly impulsive, overly emotional. Such children are uncontrollable, they do not respond to prohibitions, in any situation and in any place they behave inappropriately. It is not easy to make contact with hyperactive children, it is not easy to put them in a place to perform this or that activity. Such children are in constant motion (fidgeting in a chair; without listening to the end they begin to do the work and they do not succeed because they did not listen to the end; run instead of walking calmly; laugh too loudly; always fuss and spin; do not bring their activities to the end; ask a lot of questions, but do not listen to the end of the answer; do not control their behavior; push, fight; provoke others into conflicts; they always make noise both at home and on the street, and in any other places …).

When parents come to a psychologist, they complain that the child is uncontrollable and drives them crazy (example: “My son is uncontrollable, help, do at least something with him so that he sits at least 5 minutes in place”), interferes in adult conversations , interrupts, something happens to him all the time … Parents are afraid for their children, but they cannot do anything and somehow calm them down. The psychologist should first of all refer such parents to a psychiatrist, but in order not to frighten the parent with such a serious specialist, the psychologist can also offer his services to work with such a child (correctional classes), but only in conjunction with treatment. It would also be nice to include a Neuropsychologist in such work.

It is very important to know the differences between hyperactive children and just active, but easily excitable or overly emotional children. A Psychiatrist or Neurologist can help with this (of course, it is advisable to consult a Psychiatrist, this is his field of diagnosis and treatment. But a child under 3 years old is recommended to undergo a Neurologist).

Categories of behavioral features in ADHD:

1. Carelessness. Children are easily distracted and have difficulty focusing and concentrating. They have trouble completing assignments, organizing, and following rules (they don’t seem to listen when someone tells them something, they often make mistakes due to inattention).

2. Increased activity. Children are very impatient, excessively mobile, fussy, cannot sit still for a long time (as if a motor was connected to them behind their backs). During classes, they tend to break away from their seats at the most inopportune moment.

3. Impulsivity. Very often in the classroom, children with ADHD shout out the answer before the teacher finishes his question, constantly interrupting when others are talking, it is difficult for them to wait for their turn. If they want something, then they must get it at the same moment, without succumbing to a variety of persuasion. Such children are emotional and quick-tempered.

Methods for diagnosing ADHD:

— Medical diagnostics, including a subjective assessment of the child’s behavior based on generally accepted diagnostic criteria . The doctor talks in detail with the mother of the child about how the pregnancy, childbirth proceeded, about the child’s behavior, about the conditions of upbringing in the family, etc. For differential diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe an EEG.

Vanderbilt ‘s questionnaire . A 55-question assessment questionnaire that considers ADHD symptoms as behavioral abnormalities that cause oppositional disorder, anxiety or depression, etc.

Connors scale , recommended for parents, teachers and educators after a four-week observation of the child. The 5-15 Questionnaire (FTF) assesses a child’s development in eight areas: motor skills, executive function, perception, memory, language, social skills, learning achievement, emotional problems, and behavioral problems. This technique is being carried out to assess the development and behavior of the child by parents in the form of an interview, which includes 181 questions.

Achenbach questionnaire , used to assess behavioral problems and personality traits.

— DisruptiveBehaviorRatingScale – deviant behavior rating scale. This questionnaire was developed specifically to assess the symptoms of ADHD. The parent form contains 41 questions.

— BRIEF – behavioral scales for evaluating executive functions. This questionnaire was designed to capture manifestations in daily behavior of dysfunction of executive functions.

– The psychologist applies – analysis of the products of the child’s activities: drawings, crafts, workbooks. As a rule, it is difficult for hyperactive children to keep clean notebooks, to fit long notes into a small segment.

— The psychologist uses – a method of observation, the results of which can be correlated with the main symptoms described in ICD-10 Thanks to directed observation, the psychologist will be able to note the behavioral and developmental features of a child with ADHD, avoid erroneously attributing this syndrome to impulsive, gifted, anxious children who may there are separate similar signs (intemperance, fussiness, inattention, etc.).

— For the diagnosis of personal qualities, the emotional sphere, as well as ideomotor coordination, drawing techniques are used: “house, tree, person (DDCH)”, “non-existent animal”, “drawing of a person”, “self-portrait” …

— Interview . The psychologist talks with the child, parents and other family members to collect information about the life and development of the child: situations at school, family, social, speech, intellectual development, self-esteem, strengths of the child, hobbies, etc.

— A neuropsychological examination is used to determine the level of the child’s intellectual development, to identify concomitant violations of school skills – reading, writing, counting.

— As the main technique for studying attention and working memory, the Toulouse- Pieron test (developed by L.A. Yasyukova ) is used, which is also an indirect tool for identifying minimal brain dysfunction underlying ADHD, and is primarily aimed at studying the properties of attention ( concentration, stability, switchability) and psychomotor tempo.

Parents of Hyperactive Children:

– The child does not deliberately behave badly to cause your displeasure, he simply does not know how to properly manage his emotions and behavior;

– Make sure that the child does not overwork (sitting at a computer, TV or tablet …), protect him from these irritants. Set the daily routine for him;

– Do not prohibit active actions (it is natural for a child to run, jump, make noise, etc.), especially in a categorical form, do not shout at the child – he is even more excited from your loud voice. Better switch it to another activity;

— If you find it difficult to cope with a hyperactive child, ask for help from psychologists, relatives, friends, etc., so that you can also take a break from your child, because. for you – parents, the upbringing of such a child is also a very big psychological burden;

– Try to teach the child not to restrain his emotions, but to manage them;

It’s not your child’s fault that he is like this. If you wake him up all the time and condemn him, his self-esteem will decrease, and anxiety will increase, which will only increase hyperactive symptoms;

— If possible, select a kindergarten or school for your child in advance, in which there will be fewer children in a group or class than in a regular comprehensive school or kindergarten. The behavior of a hyperactive child can interfere with the learning process of both himself and other children;

Self-regulation will be difficult for your child, do not replace it with your own regulation. It is necessary to punish and control only in those cases when the child definitely cannot cope alone, and in other cases, do not control or pull him;

– Even if the child is inconsistent in the main cases, it is important for him to fulfill himself, he always wants to be useful, necessary, good and desirable. Give him at least small assignments and tasks, those with which he will definitely cope;

– Avoid extremes in education, do not show excessive gentleness, as well as excessive severity towards your child. Clearly explain the rules of conduct in different places and different situations. Be consistent, demand their implementation.

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