When I was a child, I was a pretty naughty child and my parents would get flustered getting me to calm down. But, what my parents went through because they had a naughty child is actually nothing in comparison to what the parents whose children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have to go through! Most of the parents who come to me say that by the end of the day, they feel that all their hair has just fallen off! However, on the plus side, if your child does have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, believe me when I say, there will never be a dull moment in your life!

As a child, I had a certain type of doll, where turning the key at the back of the doll would get the doll to do a certain activity till the key had returned back to its start stage. Well, this is the doll I am always reminded about whenever I see a child with ADHD. The only difference is that, their key never seems to return to the start stage and hence, their hyperactivity never really seems to stop.

So, for the parent who do not really have sufficient exposure to the condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that makes it difficult for the child to pay attention and control impulsive behaviours, thus, more often than not, landing up in trouble. The child is also restless and constantly active.

ADHD is however, not just a disorder of childhood. While the condition does begin in childhood, it however tends to continue through adolescence and into adulthood. Adults with ADHD are often not diagnosed as a child because the parents probably passed it off as age appropriate naughtiness. However, difficulties in their professional lives primarily cause them to come in for a consultation and assessment, which does reveal the presence of Adult ADHD more often than not.

People with ADHD show an ongoing pattern of three different types of symptoms, which may be presented as follows:

  • Difficulty paying attention (inattention)
  • Being overactive (hyperactivity)
  • Acting without thinking (impulsivity)

The signs of Inattention may be presented as follows:

  • Becoming easily distracted and jumping from activity to activity
  • Becoming bored with a task quickly
  • Difficulty focusing attention or completing a single task or activity
  • Trouble completing or turning in homework assignments
  • Losing things such as school supplies or toys
  • Not listening or paying attention when spoken to
  • Daydreaming or wandering with lack of motivation
  • Difficulty processing information quickly
  • Struggling to follow directions

The signs of hyperactivity may be presented as follows:

  • Fidgeting and squirming, having trouble sitting still
  • Non-stop talking
  • Touching or playing with everything
  • Difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
  • The signs of Impulsivity may be presented as follows:

    • Impatience
    • Acting without regard for consequences, blurting things out
    • Difficulty taking turns, waiting or sharing
    • Interrupting others

    If you suspect your child of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the first thing for you to do would be to get the child in for a Diagnostic Assessment. Through the assessment, if the child does receive the diagnosis of ADHD, the primary line of treatment would be medications, followed by Psychotherapeutic support in the form of Parental Counselling, Behaviour Modification and Mindfulness training.

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