This neurological disorder usually occurs in early childhood, around the age of five or six, and has nothing to do with autism, low IQ or behavioral disorders due to a personality disorder. It mainly consists of an attention disorder in which the child has difficulty concentrating over a longer period of time. This attention limit should be evaluated according to the child’s age.
Attention Deficit Disorder with or without hyperactivity
Much more common in boys than in girls, attention deficit with or without hyperactivity affects 3% to 5% of school-age children. It usually subsides during puberty, but can sometimes persist into adulthood.
This deficiency disorder can be accompanied by the following manifestations:
- The degree of excitement varies depending on the case and circumstances.
- Very pronounced impulsiveness.
- Poor motor skills that occur mainly in writing (larger or smaller font than normal and excessive pencil pressure), paper cutting (difficulty cutting in a spiral) and coloring (crossing lines).
- Clumsiness (accidentally dropping things)
ADD (ADHD) causes:
The exact causes of attention deficit disorder are unknown, but there is often a family history.
Premature infants are at greater risk due to delayed brain development.
The lack of oxygen at birth, which may have led to brain disorders in newborns, is also partly responsible but this has not been scientifically confirmed.
In particular, prenatal exposure to certain toxic substances (alcohol, tobacco, lead, pesticides, etc.) may play a role in the development of this syndrome in some cases.
Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity: practical tips
Child’s life must be structured
Depending on the severity of the disease, the child needs organization and structure. If you entrust your child with a task to be performed, monitor them so that they can perform it. Remind him when they stray if necessary. Never give them more than one task at a time. Also, because the child is impulsive and excited, it is better to give him less responsibility than a child of the same age who does not have this disorder.
Look out for when the disease worsens.
Generally, when the child’s behavior worsens it is associated with an increase in external stimuli when the child is in a group. A person who is stressed, impatient and constantly talking can make the child more nervous and excited so avoiding these aggravating situations can make a big difference. Avoid exhausting the child! Instead of calming him down, you’ll make him more restless.
Take time to rest
In general, the child will feel much calmer with a particular person. During homework, he/she will work much better with an adult who will constantly focus his/her attention on the task at hand. It is important that the child is not always with the same parent as well.
Application of the extraction technique
If you feel that you have reached your limits, send your child to his or her room for a short time. This will allow everyone to take a step back.
Do not use violence or physical punishment. It has no influence on the child’s behavior. Instead, find punishments that force the child to calm down. For example, ask him to withdraw and think about what he did in his room. If you are outdoors, stop the activity and bring the child home.
Be on the watch
Often these children have no sense of danger. They, therefore, require greater and supervision.
Handing over the child to only an experienced person
It is recommended not to send a hyperactive child to a kindergarten, as it is easier for them to get hyper-activated when in groups. Leave them only with someone who has experience with kids with ADD. Hyperactive children need a lot of attention and should, therefore, be entrusted to reliable people to avoid accidents.
Is Sugar Bad?
Contrary to popular belief, sugar does not make things worse. As your kid grows, removing sugar can be very bad for their health.
When to see a doctor?
Your child behaves inappropriately and has learning difficulties that affect their education. It is always advisable to go see a specialist before parents and teachers reach their tolerance limits.
How do they test for ADD?
The doctor meets the child in the presence of the parents to check the developmental history. He/she performs a physical examination of the child in which he assesses both height and weight. He/she will ask him about his current difficulties and make sure that the main symptoms are present. He/she will also subject the kid to some exercises, such as paper cutting and drawing.
The treatment depends on the age of the child (medication and psychosocial approaches). The doctor asks the parents to identify stimuli that reinforce the child’s behavior in order to avoid them. He/she will then seek the advice of a psychotherapist specialized in this type of disease (psycho-behavioral and cognitive approach).
As far as medications are concerned Ritalin® is one of the most commonly used treatments for ADD. If your indication is clinically confirmed, Ritalin® can be tried and continued if the results are positive for the child’s development.