A little medical background… Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurobiological disorder. And if in ICD-10 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was attributed to hyperkinetic disorders – a group of emotional disorders and behavior, then already in ICD-11 it is referred to as neurodevelopmental disorders. Yes, we must admit that ADHD is a family disease.
I will make a reservation in advance, only a doctor can make a diagnosis, this is either a neurologist (psychoneurologist) or a psychiatrist. The diagnosis of the brain will be carried out:
– EEG (electroencephalogram)
– REG ( rheoencephalography )
– MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
– Psychodiagnostic study
– Neuropsychological research
At the age of 4 – 5 years, they can already determine whether there is attention deficit disorder, but the peak of hyperactivity can be at 6-7 years. The manifestation of hyperactivity in boys is more common than in girls; in girls, attention deficit disorder predominates. To make it clear, there are three types of ADHD: Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity Syndrome (hyperactivity-impulsivity) and a combined type – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It happens that ADHD is combined with other behavioral disorders: childhood depression, fears, anxiety, emotional lability (alternating periods of high mood with periods of depression), aggressiveness, oppositional defiant behavior (disobedience, bouts of anger at restrictions).
And now we will discuss, but we must keep in mind that not every active child has ADHD. I think that many looking back at their children, peers around them or from their childhood memories, they came across such children who seem to have a motor inside.
So how do you recognize a child with ADHD? Or rather, when parents should show the child to specialists. When he is hyperactive – impulsive, he has a reduced ability to concentrate and hold attention, distracted, disorganized , can listen, but it seems that he does not hear (here it is generally better to check the child’s hearing), having not listened to the question, he already answers. The child is fussy, cannot sit in one place, may have difficulty falling asleep.
Some parents say: come on, I was also active as a child, now everything is fine with me. Yes, some children outgrow, hyperactivity is smoothed out, but for example , impulsivity remains or the same attention deficit does not go away. After all, the education and training of the child depends on this. And here it seems to me worth talking about the myths of ADHD, there are many of them, we will focus on only a few:
1. “ ADHD is not a real disorder.”
Explanation: in fact, this syndrome is recognized by WHO and is included in the generally accepted classification of diseases.
2. “ The main cause of ADHD is poor parenting .”
Explanation: the main reason is heredity. But what else can lead to ADHD in a child is: trauma to the brain of the child at birth, smoking and alcoholism of the mother during pregnancy. Understanding in parenting can mitigate, but not prevent, the manifestation of ADHD.
3. “A child has ADHD because he watches TV for a long time, plays on a computer, tablet, phone.”
Clarification: Electronic games, watching TV can cause a behavioral disorder similar to ADHD, but it is reversible. As soon as the parents switch his attention to another plane, board games, walks, sports, pleasant pastime, everything will fall into place.
4. “ADHD is only treated with drugs.”
Explanation: in a mild form, drugs may not be used, but it is important that there is comprehensive support for the child by various specialists: a psychiatrist or neurologist, teacher, educator, educational psychologist, if necessary, a speech therapist, neuropsychologist. The sooner ADHD is identified and corrected, the better for the child.
5. “If ADHD was not diagnosed as a child, then an adult cannot have it.”
Explanation: symptoms in childhood can be mistaken for an anxiety disorder, depression, or the child was simply considered too active, disobedient, aggressive, etc.
These are not all myths, but these are enough to understand that accepting a child as he is is not so easy.
How can parents help their child?
– Raise a child taking into account his physiological and psychological characteristics.
– Not arbitrarily, but persistently stick to the schedule in early and school age It is good to plan your day and responsibilities with your child. It’s great if a child who can’t write yet draws small pictures, and the one who can already write writes it down. These can be short sentences, because these children also have difficulties with writing.
– Do not argue with the child, calmly and decisively stand your ground.
– Long classes tire such a child, give him pauses in which he can drink water, get a little distracted from classes.
– Formulate clear tasks, there should not be several of them at once.
– Praise the child, emphasize his successes.
– Choose a sports section, it can be dancing.
– Use board games, they have clear rules, they can also be used to develop attention and self-control.
– Get pets, if no one suffers from allergies, the presence of animals in the house causes good feelings in the soul of the child.
– Parents in the process of upbringing can have different feelings for the child, this is an insult to him, for his unreasoned harsh statements, and irritation, confusion, disappointment, anxiety for the future, it is better, of course, not to deny all these feelings in yourself, to live them opportunities with a psychologist or psychotherapist.
– Remember that sometimes humor can defuse the situation in some tense situation.
And the most important thing: look at your child, it is very difficult for him, identify his abilities, talents and develop them. Maintain a balance of relationships in the family, talk to the child, tell stories, discuss them. Talk about the rules of communication, reveal the meaning of facial expressions, human gestures, do everything so that the child wants and knows how to communicate with others.
Of course , a child with ADHD is not cut off from life, from kindergarten, school, it’s not just for him and with him in the classroom, in the classroom, but what about one big break of 20 minutes!
Recommendations for teachers:
– Try to learn more about the individual characteristics of the child.
– Don’t give in to the challenging behavior of the ADHD child, use positive reinforcement based on what you know about the child.
– If possible, limit distractions in class.
– Together with the student you can start a special diary in which he can mark the events of the day and plan his affairs.
– Try to control the progress of work in the lesson of such a student.
– Give him some task at recess.
– Seat such children in different rows, preferably on the first desks.
And of course, try to see positive qualities in the child: it can be his kindness, sharp mind, responsiveness. See his abilities and talents, maintain a favorable environment in the children’s team, do not make fun of him in front of everyone, do not point out his mistakes and mistakes in front of everyone. After all, if an adult, especially a teacher, can say something like that in front of everyone, the children in the class will immediately pick it up and it will be difficult to correct the situation. Remember, children with ADHD may be at risk, they are potential outsider candidates.
What about adults with ADHD?
We already know one of the myths, but sadly, there are adults with ADHD among adults. In many areas of life they do not add up, they have difficulties in the family, at work. At work, they hardly concentrate on the task at hand, many are forgetful, quickly lose interest if this task does not entertain them. Do not find that there are similar signs with children? Deadlines and monotony in work strains them. They are fussy, taking breaks more often than they should. It is difficult for them to restrain their emotions and behavior. Adults with ADHD often change jobs.
But if they were able to build relationships with others in the process of growing up, then they are good ones: sales managers, product consultants, they are among the military, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, photographers, reporters, actors. Where there is a frequent change of plots, a conditionally free schedule, quick results and contacts with various people, these adults feel they are in demand.
But there are also sad facts: there are many adults with ADHD among those addicted to alcohol, nicotine, drugs, eating disorders , gambling. The fact is that people with ADHD have a lower level of dopamine and some get it with the help of creativity, recognition of their success, hobbies, achievements in sports, while others get it with the help of alcohol, drugs, nicotine. Of course , you can write a lot on this topic, what difficulties adults with ADHD still have. In family relationships, impulsive behavior and emotional incontinence, risky behavior on the roads.
I would still like to indicate: “everything has its price”, when a child with ADHD is noticed in the family, this is already a big step towards meeting his positive future.