Understanding ADHD: Information for Parents

The most marked behavioral trait of any child is impulsiveness. There are many times when a child’s behavior veers out of control. And at other times he/she may seem to be constantly day dreaming.

Both behaviors are usually quite harmless and a part of growing up. It is only when such behavior becomes repetitive and starts interfering with normal day to day life, is when parents have cause to worry. ADHD usually affects children more than adults and 4 % of all children suffer from some type of ADHD. A real diagnosis is only given by a child psychiatrist.

What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior. It is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood. ADHD is diagnosed in about 3 times more boys than girls. 
The condition affects behavior in specific ways.  But how to determine if a child has ADHD. Here are a few symptoms of ADHD

·         Inattention
ü  Had hard time paying attention and day dreams
ü  Doesn’t seem to listen very often
ü  Easily distracted from work and play
ü  Inattention to detail, silly mistakes
ü  Is disorganized
ü  Frequently avoids doing things that require mental effort
·         Hyperactivity
ü  Is in constant motion, as if driven by a motor
ü  Difficulty staying seated
ü  Squirms and fidgets constantly
ü  Runs, jumps and climbs things despite not being permitted to do so
ü  Can’t play quietly
·         Impulsivity
ü  Acts and speaks without thinking
ü  Runs around without checking surroundings first
ü  Cannot wait turns
ü  Interrupts others frequently
ü  Answers before the question is complete

Children with ADHD may not show all of the above symptoms. If a parent or the child’s teacher observes any symptoms, the initial intervention is to be made by the Pediatrician. Unless and otherwise diagnosed and certified by a psychiatrist, the child is not labeled as having ADHD.

If you happen to interact with a child who seems to be hyperactive, here are a few tips:

·         Do not use the word “do not”, instead put your instructions in  a positive note

·         Give simple instructions to divert the attention

·         If the child throws tantrums, just ignore the tantrum and try diverting

·         Don’t embarrass the parent by staring or giving suggestions. Parents are the best teachers  in this situation. 

The article has been written courtesy Ms. Abirami Umashankar, Special Educator at MLZS HSR Extension. Through her valued insights and continuous support, we have been able to nurture a successful inclusive environment at Mount Litera Zee School HSR.