ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is being diagnosed at a much higher rate lately than it was a decade ago. In most cases parents are told ‘you have come very late!’ Identifying the need of some basic information to sensitize parents, LifeCountz approached Neha Bhalerao Paul for the same.
Very often, we encounter a badly behaved, hyper, loud, annoying, strange kid that disturbs us during a movie,at the mall, during a prayer meeting, or while eating.We wonder, “What parents! What a kid! Don’t they teach manners to the child?’ There is a strong possibility that this child is not doing this on purpose but is a case of ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects children, which can be managed as the child grows. It is…
More prevalent in boys than in girls
- Can affect people of any religion, socio economic background and intellectual level
- Causes- Genetic factors, brain injuries in early life, oxygen deprivation during pregnancy, exposure to toxic substances (during and after birth), unusual brain structures and dysregulation of chemicals in the body.
- Bad parenting, exposure to aggressive television shows, diet, and faulty education systems are NOT causes for ADHD.
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
(Symptoms must be present before 7 years for a diagnosis of ADHD)
The child may have difficulty paying attention to details at home or school, difficulty following instructions, sustaining attention and listening to instructions, difficulty and avoidance of organizing tasks or home work, losing things like toys, stationary regularly, being forgetful, etc. These are areas of worry when they become regular and excessive.
The child might be extremely fidgety, may leave seat in classroom, may run and climb excessively, may have difficulty playing quietly and talk excessively! He/she might interrupt conversations, may burst out answers before questions are completed, and have difficulty waiting for his/her turn to speak.
When the behaviours are observed
- Consult your family doctor, School counsellor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist or a Occupational Therapist
- Parental reactions are usually
- Negative, ranging from anger, resentment, denial to depression
- Acceptance is key!
- Emotional problems, temper tantrums, frustration, aggressive hitting, screaming, misbehavior, losing friends, being teased, low self esteem, academic failure, untidy &incomplete work, clumsiness, daydreaming, poor planning, etc are common
- Learning Disorders like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia may be common
- Psychological conditions like oppositional behavior, mood disorders may co-occur.
- Medical conditions like Tourette’s syndrome, Epilepsy, Thyroid problems, Sleep Apnea and Chromosomal disorders may co-occur.
MANAGEMENT OF ADHD
This needs a holistic approach with everyone working as a team i.e. the teacher concerned, parents, family and the therapist.
After assessing the problem, diagnosis and acceptance of the problem, a behaviour modification plan is chalked out to correct the necessary behaviour.Based on the behaviour, child’s temperament, etc, BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES are used. Like…
- Time Out: A child is sent to a location, which has minimum stimulation and is not allowed to interact with others, which gives him time to reflect on his behaviour and calm down.
- Token Economy: The child’s positive behaviour is reinforced by tokens, which can be exchanged for what the child loves.
|5 Tokens (Smiley’s J)||Can give||A trip to the park||The tokens can be assigned everyday to certain behaviour like concentrating on a task for 15 mins,a total number can buy what you love!|
- Response Cost You pay for your behaviour! In other words, something that the child likes is taken away for his/ her undesired behaviour.
- Over CorrectionThe child must repeat certain behaviour due to his bad behaviour and this repletion makes the behaviour an automatic response(positive).
- Behaviour Contract This is a business like agreement between the therapist and the child with consent of the parents as to what he/she is expected to exhibit and what rewards/consequences would be given.
- Behaviour Chart Which is a tracking system of the child’s behaviours.
- These techniques are modified as per age, presentation and can correct a range of behaviours/ daily activities like getting ready for school, packing his bag, cleaning room, etc. and much more…
Help a kid if you notice this!
Neha Bhalerao Paul is Masters in Clinical Psychology from University of Mumbai.Her work involves individual/ group psychological assessment and psychotherapy. She has been attached to a special school (Spandan Holistic Institute) as well as a main stream school (P.G.Garodia School) as a counselor.
She also conducts workshops in Social skills training, Study skills training, Behaviour modification, Career counseling and General counseling