Early Detection of ADHD - A Complete Guide To Combat This Issue
Around 5 to 10 percent school children are affected by a neurological disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and The American Psychiatric Association has substantiated this. Hyperactivity, lack of attention and difficult in focusing are some of its characteristics. If left untreated, this disorder can also remain in children in adolescence and go into adulthood as well. Normal childhood behavior, which is boisterous, and ADHD are completely different things. Many young children might be restless and inattentive without suffering from ADHD. Proper identification is therefore essential for determining the course of treatment.
Types of ADHD
It has been determined that three types of ADHD exist and the symptoms which stand out the most are used to define them. Following are the three types which have been carefully researched and figured out:Predominantly Inattentive Type:
In this type of ADHD, the child will face the utmost difficulty in organizing and finishing a task. They find it very complicated when they have to follow instructions or pay attention to conversations. Moreover, paying attention to details is no easy task for children who suffer from this type of ADHD. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type:
In this kind of disorder, children find it extremely difficult to stay still. They continue to talk a lot and cannot put a stop to fidgeting. If the child is young, then he might continue running, jumping or climbing continually. Not only are they restless but also impulsive because they grab things, speak or interrupt others at very inappropriate times. They have a hard time in following directions they have been given and are unable to wait patiently for their turn. As compared to others, children suffering from these kinds of disorder will be more accident-prone and will have more injuries than usual.Combined Type:
When a person is suffering from symptoms of both 1 and 2 type of ADHD and the symptoms will be highly predominant, that’s when they are suffering from this third type of ADHD which is simply a combination of both. You will be easily able to identify the symptoms of both types of ADHD.
Causes of ADHD
The exact causes as to why ADHD springs up are still unclear. Researchers have been continually studying the brain to identify what triggers this disorder. However, they have identified some factors which might be probable causes. They are:Heredity:
It has been discovered that ADHD runs in families and children usually inherit it from their parents.Chemical Imbalance:
Experts have unearthed that the development of ADHD symptoms might be because of an imbalance of brain chemicals, also called neurotransmitters might transmit some nerve impulses to the body.Brain Changes:
In comparison to children without ADHD, the area of the brain, which controls attention, is a bit less active.Head Injury:
Behavioral problems like ADHD might develop in children who have suffered from head injuries and concussion.
Detecting ADHD At Early Stage
To detect ADHD at an early stage, you have to keep an eye for the key behaviors, which signify the presence of ADHD which is usually impulsive, hyperactivity and inattention. It is perfectly normal for young children to be all three things at some time or other. However, those children who are suffering from ADHD have these symptoms but they occur more frequently and are considerably more severe than normal. The patterns of behavior of each type of symptoms are discussed as follows:
Symptoms of Distraction
- The child will be unable to give attention to details and his schoolwork, homework and other activities will contain a lot of careless mistakes.
- Whether they are play activities or other tasks, the child has trouble in sustaining attention.
- When the child is addressed directly, they often do not seem to listen or hear.
- The child is unable to complete schoolwork, duties and chores and finds it difficult to follow instructions which have been provided and this is not because of failure to understand them or just oppositional behavior.
- Organizing tasks and activities seems to be fraught with complications for them.
- The child will dislike or avoid indulging in tasks which required constant mental effort. They are reluctant to engage in homework and schoolwork due to this reason.
- Things, which are necessary for particular tasks and activities, are often misplaced or lost by children suffering from ADHD. This includes items like toys, books, pencils, school assignments and other tools.
- Extraneous stimuli might also end up distracting these children.
- They are often forgetful even in their daily routine.
- Get confused easily, often daydream and move at a slower pace.
- The child will be unable to process information as accurately and quickly as other children.
Hyperactivity or ADHD
Symptoms of hyperactivity and ADHD tend to overlap more than often. Here are some associated symptoms of hyperactivity, which are used for early detection of ADHD-
- The child will squirm in the sweat and fidget with their hands and feet.
- In situations like the classroom, where it is expected to remain seated, the child also tends to leave their seats and dash here and there.
- In situations where it is not appropriate, the child tends to climb or run excessively.
- The child will not be able to indulge in or play leisure activities in a quiet manner.
- The child will often talk loudly and excessively.
- The child will be constantly in motion and will touch or play with whatever is in their line of sight.
Symptoms of Impulsivity:
- The child does not wait for the questions to be completed and simply blurts out the answers before.
- They do not find it easy to wait for their turn in some activity.
- The child will tend to intrude on others or interrupt games or conversations abruptly and pass on inappropriate comments.
- The child will be impatient, will not restrain their emotions and will not consider the consequences when indulging in actions.
Parents and teachers alike might often miss out the symptoms of inattention because children with those symptoms tend to be quiet and less likely to act out than others. They may sit without making a sound and may seem to be working although they are not at all attentive to what they are doing. Likewise, parents might also ignore symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity as they may think of them as disciplinary and emotional problems. The question is how to judge if your child is actually showing the symptoms of ADHD. The following criteria have to be followed in order to determine if the symptoms are of this behavioral disorder:
- The symptoms must show themselves for at least 6 months.
- They should have a negative impact in two different setting such as school and home. Some children might just be active and inattentive at home which is quite normal.
- The symptoms should have been manifested before the age of 5 or 7.
- Any other condition such as depression, mood swings or anxiety might not be the cause of these symptoms.
- The symptoms should seem greater than the expected intelligence and age of the child. For instance, a toddler might just not be busy but be hyperactive.
Dealing With ADHD Children
As a parent, you might find that life with a child suffering from ADHD is overwhelming and frustrating but you are probably not aware of the fact that there is a lot you can contribute to manage the children. It is possible to control and also reduce the symptoms, which are significant of ADHD. You have the power to bring calm to your home and handle your child by redirecting their energies into some positive arenas. Children who are suffering from this disorder can succeed if the problems are addressed on a consistent basis.
What You Need To Know
Deficits in executive function exist in children suffering from ADHD. These functions involve the ability to organize, think and plan ahead, control impulses and finish tasks. In these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the parent to take over the function and gradually guide your child until they start acquiring the executive skills they need.
The symptoms of ADHD are frustrating and exasperating no doubt but what you have to keep in mind is that the child is not willfully being ignorant, inattentive and annoying. They also want to be organized and wish to sit quietly but the problem is that they are not aware of how to do that. You should keep in mind that having ADHD is as difficult as dealing with it. You should respond to your child in positive ways for supporting them.
Impact On Other Siblings
You also have to consider the effect on your other children due to the disorder in order to manage it properly.
- Their needs are not given the same attention as the other child.
- Their successes are less celebrated and they are rebuked more sharply because parents might be frustrated with their other child.
- They may be blamed for other’s mistake due to which jealousy and resentment develops between siblings.
- Physically exhausting demands are often significant of a child suffering from ADHD.
- There are also psychologically exhausting demands because the child has to be monitored constantly.
- Parents become stressed, frustrated and anxious because of their child’s actions. This incites anger which can bring about negative results.
Tips For Dealing With Children Suffering from ADHD
Being a parent, setting a stage for your child’s emotional and physical health is your responsibility. Your positive attitude and common sense are your best assets in helping your child understand their problem and overcoming it. You need to be focused and calm in order to reconnect with your child.
- Things should be kept in perspective: You have to remember that it is because of the disorder that your child is behaving in this way. It is not deliberate so you should not let go of your sense of humor. You might laugh over it ten years later.
- Be patient: Do not expect miracles from your child instantly. If he does 3 out of 5 chores along with his homework, that’s more than enough. Being a perfectionist will not do you or your child any good as it creates impossible expectations.
- Believe in your child: Make a list of the unique and valuable qualities of your child after thinking about them carefully. Count on your child to use these skills to succeed in life. It is necessary for you to trust your child and show it to them in order to get the desired results.
- Seek support: One of the best things about dealing with a child suffering from ADHD is that you do not have to undertake the task alone. You can consult teachers of your child or see a therapist or doctor. There are organizations and forums which are established to help parents in dealing with children with ADHD. You can also seek help there and take advantage of their resources for managing your child.