Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children

The activity and cheerfulness of a child is a normal phenomenon, which indicates that he is healthy and developing as it should be at his age. But some children, in comparison with their peers, are much more active. Previously, they were called fidgets and fidgets, but modern medicine has given a clear scientific definition of such behavior – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD) – and has developed a fairly clear strategy for treating this diagnosis and a number of recommendations for parents of such children. 

Symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children

In children at an early age, it is quite difficult to determine ADHD, since the child’s reactions to stimuli are individual and are perceived by adults as character traits or neglect in education. The first signs of hyperactivity, such as sleep disturbances, violent reactions to harsh lighting and sounds, and increased physical activity, are attributed by parents to various provocative factors and circumstances or are ignored altogether.  

The first suspicions of hyperactivity usually arise when a child begins to prepare for school. To make or clarify the diagnosis of ADHD, medical specialists provide recommendations for parents, which consist in observing and recording the following behaviors:

  • sudden mood swings and unbalanced behavior, manifested in the inability to cope with emotions, frequent tantrums for minor reasons;
  • low self-esteem, overly critical attitude towards oneself and lack of self-confidence;
  • the child’s inability to focus and concentrate on any one object or action for a long time, while performing a number of tasks or a set of exercises strictly according to the plan causes insurmountable difficulties;  
  • pronounced speech activity (talkativeness) in older children and a violation of coherent speech against the background of an acute desire to speak out in young children, due to a lack of vocabulary;
  • children with ADHD are often conflicted and aggressive, are characterized by quick temper, resentment and irritability over trifles, they like to argue and show selfishness;
  • fine motor skills of the hands are poorly developed, so it is usually difficult for a hyperactive child to fasten buttons, tie shoelaces, and write calligraphy.

Experts identify several of the most common causes of hyperactivity in children:

  • improper and unhealthy lifestyle of the mother before pregnancy, difficult pregnancy or difficult childbirth;
  • genetic inheritance;
  • tense atmosphere in the family, conflict environment around the child, stress.

Recommendations for parents of children with ADHD

Raising children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not easy. Moreover, every child himself suffers from the fact that it is difficult for him to build relationships with people around him. Therefore, parents should be very sensitive to such a child, developing tactics of interaction with him and a strategy for responding to symptoms of hyperactivity.

To help a child cope with his condition and correct his behavior, experts usually give a number of such practical recommendations for parents:

  • taking into account the child’s nervousness and increased excitability, the task of parents is to provide a calm atmosphere at home without conflicts, swearing and shouting and organize his own “corner” where the child could be alone with himself without external stimuli;
  • the daily routine, a convenient daily routine also very much help to organize the child’s life and relieve him of stress associated with surprises and unforeseen circumstances;
  • with hyperactivity, cause-and-effect relationships are often violated, so there is no point in scolding the child – he simply does not understand what he is being punished for. Therefore, psychologists insist on the implementation of such a recommendation for parents – the practical implementation of an active system of rewards for good behavior;
  • if a child is attending a preschool or school, the teacher or teacher should be informed about his or her characteristics and the teacher should be asked to be attentive to his behavior and needs. An experienced teacher, due to many years of practice, usually knows how to find an approach to such children. In this way, adults can join forces to help the child cope with their condition;
  • Intense physical activity helps many children to express their emotions and satisfy the need for movement, so parents should enroll their child in the sports section. A sports direction must be chosen in which, when performing a set of exercises, the child will be forced to spend maximum energy.

A set of exercises for children with hyperactivity

In addition to the above general practical advice on organizing life, the basics of interaction between adults and the nuances of the process of raising children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, experts also recommend that parents use special techniques to normalize the child’s condition.

The set of exercises for children with ADHD under the age of 9 according to the Schultz method includes training elements that the child must repeat after the adult:

  • Extend your hand in front of you and imagine that a lemon is squeezed in your palm. Squeeze the palm of the fictional lemon so hard that you squeeze all the juice out of it, and then relax your hand.
  • Raise your arms first in front of your chest, then above your head and slowly pull them back behind your head, stretching your whole body, and then sharply lower your arms, feeling relaxation in the upper limbs and shoulders.
  • Pull your neck and head into your shoulders for half a minute, and after this time, relax.
  • For a few seconds, squeeze the jaws as much as possible so that the neck tightens, and then relax.
  • Tighten the muscles of the face, imagining that a fly has landed on him, which must be driven away by an effort of facial expressions.
  • Tighten your abs for as long as possible, and then relax them.
  • Imagine that your feet are in the mud, and strain your feet as if they are quickly sinking into it. After a few seconds, get out of the “mud” and shake off your feet.

If the child is over 9 years old, then the above set of exercises should be diversified. To this end, it is advisable to use Alekseev’s effective technique in order to teach the child to qualitatively relax the body and relieve psychological stress. According to this technique, the child should imagine his body as a set of lamps, and his consciousness as a night light. In order to relax before bedtime, the child needs to imagine that each light bulb, symbolizing any part of the body, turns off, and as a result, one night light remains on. 

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