Jun 28, 2014
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD is today largely accepted as a bona fide psychiatric or neurobehavioral disorder affecting some 5-7% of children and adolescents. The prevalence will depend on the diagnostic criteria used. It was once thought to be three times commoner in boys than in girls though not all studies support that figure. About 50% of ADHD children will carry the condition into adulthood. For the rest their behaviour will modify as they grow into adulthood.
In the recent past and even today ADHA struggles to be accepted as a “disorder” as distinct form behaviour or “boldness”. For example, older teachers and grandparents who grew up to believe that the behaviour of ADHD children was simply wilful naughtiness that should be disciplined are now being asked to believe that it is a “disorder” that should be treatment.
Symptoms and Diagnosis:
ADHD is diagnosed on the bases of the child’s behaviour alone. This may be done using the International Classification of Diseases or ICD-10. There are no other tests to confirm the diagnosis and this again may cause difficulty in accepting ADHD as a disorder.
Features of ADHD behaviour will include:
• Inattention to instructions.
• Inability to learn or retain.
• Inability to stay with a specific task or to complete it.
• Inability to hold attention to what is being said to them.
• Hyperactivity. Constantly fidgeting and moving around the place.
• Impulsivity like suddenly standing up and leaving their seat in class or throwing things at teacher or other children.
• Reckless and ill-considered behaviour.
Any or all of the above to a level that is inconsistent with the behaviour of other children of the same age.
Management of ADHT.
There are basically two approaches to the management of ADHD – behavioural modification and medication. Of the two the former is preferable of course although it does require many hours and great patients. Medication on the other hand might be seen as a quick fix. The medication most often used today is a drug called Ritalin. This is not without potential side-effects some of them life long and serious.. However, it does not need to be one or the other. Often a combination of medications and behavioural therapy work best.
If you have a child recently diagnosed with ADHD or are wondering if that may be a problem with your child then we are here to help and support you.