If you know a child who is hyperactive or hard to control, you may have heard the term ADHD used to describe the child’s behavior. It may also be used for a child who often can’t pay attention. ADHD – or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – is a disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood, though it affects adults too. And it is true that hyperactivity and an inability to stay focused are common signs of ADHD. But there’s more to it than that.
What Is ADHDIJ
There are many behaviors that can be signs of ADHD. A child with ADHD may have a hard time paying attention in school. Teachers may notice that the child can’t follow a lesson to its end or may become distracted easily. This child may not be able to follow a conversation or stay focused on a book for a long stretch. At home, a child with ADHD might start a game and then quickly lose interest. He or she might paint or draw but move on to something else before finishing.
These kinds of behaviors are seen in children with a type of ADHD known as primarily inattentive ADHD. Children with primarily inattentive ADHD can also have a hard time staying organized and their school work may be sloppy. They might lose things they need for their school work or other activities. They might avoid a task if it means they have to pay attention for a long time to finish the task.
Impulsive behaviours can also be a sign of ADHD. They belong to a type of ADHD known as primarily hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. A child who often shouts out answers in class without waiting to be called on may have this kind of ADHD. Another example is a child who can’t wait his or her turn in line or can’t sit still. A child who acts the wrong way in the wrong place or at the wrong time – like a child who runs and shouts in a temple but is old enough to know that this is wrong, or a child who climbs on the furniture – might have primarily hyperactive impulsive ADHD. There’s a third type of ADHD — combined type — that refers to cases where both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors are seen.
How Is It DiagnosedIJ
These are examples of things that children with ADHD might do. But it’s important to note that a child must do these things over and over again for at least six months before the term ADHD can be used to explain the behavior. The common signs of ADHD are behaviors that are seen in all children every now and then. All children are bored, impatient and hyperactive at times. But when the behavior continues for months and begins to cause problems at school, it is time to see if ADHD might be the cause. What causes ADHDIJ Unfortunately, no one knows. Scientists are looking to see if there is a gene or set of genes linked to ADHD. But scientists are sure that ADHD is not caused by poor parenting, too much TV or a family life that is not stable.
How is ADHD TreatedIJ
There are different ways of treating ADHD in a child. Some doctors treat ADHD with medicine. But ADHD can also be treated with something called behaviour therapy, and it is often best to try this before giving a child medicine. In some cases, both behaviour therapy and medicine are used to treat the symptoms of ADHD.
In behaviour therapy, a child is taught good behaviors to replace bad behaviours. For example, a child with primarily hyperactive-impulsive ADHD might be taught how to raise his or her hand in class instead of shouting out answers. A child with primarily inattentive ADHD might be given ways to organise his or her school gear so important things aren’t left at home on a school day.
Parents can be taught how to help their child replace negative behaviours with positive behaviours. If they practice these positive behaviours at home on a regular basis, it will help to keep the negative behaviors from getting in the way at school and at home.
The Writer is Dr Sapna Zarwal Clinical Head Mom’s Belief, Gurugram