Sunday, 13 November 2011

Does Your Child Have Attention Deficit Disorder


Does your child exhibit inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity? Does your child have problems due to this at home and in school? Does it affect the child’s ability to learn and get along with others?
To be more specific inattention is when the child doesn’t pay attention to details, makes careless mistakes, can’t stay focused and is easily distracted, appears not to listen when spoken too, has difficulty remembering and following instructions as well as gets bored with tasks before they are completed.
Hyperactivity means signs like constantly fidgeting, often leaving his seat, moving around constantly, talking excessively, difficulty in playing quietly or relaxing and having a quick temper.
Impulsivity signs are when the child acts, without thinking, blurts out answers out of turn, can’t wait for his turn, talks inappropriately, interrupts others, can’t keep emotions in check resulting in angry outbursts or temper tantrums, guesses rather than takes time to solve problems and overacts emotionally and is moody.
If your child exhibits these symptoms it means he/she has a clea cut psychiatric illness called Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD / ADHD; and requires specialist treatment from mental health professionals.
The first and essential step if your child exhibits ADD/ADHD symptoms is to consult a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, who will diagnose and prescribe specific medication as part of various strategies to control ADD/ADHD. However medication does not cure the disease by itself. So your psychiatrist will also recommend and supervise other types of assistance from specialist mental health professionals.
Psychologists will provide talk therapy.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists set up behavior modification programs at school, work and home as well as help establish concrete goals for individuals, families and teachers.
Educational Specialists teach techniques for succeeding in school, and also help obtain accommodations, including assistive technology.
Parent Educators focus on training parents to interact more effectively with their ADD/ADHD afflicted children and provides essential support.
Mental health professionals use certain definite methodology to control and reduce symptoms of ADD/ADHD. These include:-
Parenting Tips like staying healthy and positive to influence the child’s emotional and physical health. Establish what tasks you want and create a structure so that the child knows what to expect and what he/she’s expected to do. Setting of clear expectations and rules and using praise as a positive reinforcement. Encouraging movement and physical activity as it improves concentration, decreases depression and anxiety and promotes brain growth. Strategies to combat over stimulation and insomnia to get the child to enjoy better sleep. Tips on eating fresh foods at regular meal times will be given. And assistance, guidance to make friends will also be a strategy used.
School Tips include communicating and formulating plans, meetings, creating goals, listening, sharing information and asking hard questions to give a complete picture to the school teacher. Using of techniques like physical placement away from distracting doors, windows etc. Organizing of PT periods and the breaking of long work periods into shorter chunks. To discipline infarctions and interruptions of the afflicted child while maintaining self esteem. The organization of impulsivity that is allow fidgety and impulsive movements at appropriate times to keep the child calmer at work time. The braking down and reinforcement of steps to allow the child to master one step at a time.
Specific instructions regarding Diet is vital too as it regulates ADD/ADHD symptoms. Advise includes scheduling regular meals and snacks. Getting enough zinc, iron and magnesium, even from a daily multi vitamin tablet. Including protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal or snack. And the adding of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, fortified eggs and milk products into the diet.
All this appears quite complicated and difficult to execute. It isn’t if you consult a psychiatrist and operate under his directions. This also means using the assistance of other specialist mental health professionals. They will help you to use various strategies to manage symptoms of ADD/ADHD in your child and enable him/her to lead a more normal life.
- Dr. Rohan Jahagirdar
MD (Psychiatry)
Pune.
Mobile: 93 724 16 491
Clinic: 020 - 3240 5770  

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