ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
Although children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are intelligent, they do poorly in
school because parents as well as teachers often misunderstand them. Their impulsive behaviour and lack of attention
gets on the nerves of others. They are ridiculed for the same
and thus they lose their confidence.
SYMPTOMS: The child must have at least 2 of the 3 important features: Inattention, hyperactivity and
impulsiveness. An expert must make the diagnosis before any treatment is started. Once the diagnosis is made, these
children can be helped with proper management and do reasonably well in school and later in life.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis is often made wrongly or is delayed. In case of the former, parents and teachers
forget that many normal toddlers may appear hyperactive and not bother to concentrate. Hence, the diagnosis of ADHD
should not be made till the child has spent a year or two in
normal school. Additionally, some drugs can also cause the yperactivity features of ADHD.
ADHD can also be noticed in certain other conditions
like rejection by the family, psychiatric disorders connected
with depression and anxiety, deafness and visual handicaps.
TREATMENT: Efforts should first be made to manage the child without any medication. Experts plan structured
daily programmes for these children. Daily routines are fixed
and followed in a consistent manner. Care is taken to see
that the child goes to sleep and gets up at fixed hours and has
regular timings for his meals and studies. The child gets rewards for his good behaviour. Teachers need to give the ADHD child
individual attention. Parents as well as teachers should
set up small attainable goals for him to build his confidence
and selfesteem. Cases with a definite diagnosis and which do not improve with this approach may require certain specific
drugs. When clearly indicated, these drugs are helpful,
but they should be given only under expert supervision, so
that the dose can be properly adjusted, keeping the possible
side effects and efficacy in mind.
11 February, 2013