How to know if your child has ADHD
Children with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) have trouble listening and following instructions, difficulty in paying attention and need constant reminders for carrying out tasks.
One of the common complaints of parents is that their child is not attentive enough or doesn't sit at one place. While inattentiveness and not following instructions may be a temporary phase for most children which they would outgrow after a certain age, children with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) continue to struggle at home, school and social situations as they have shorter attention spans, make careless mistakes, are impatient with tasks that is time consuming, unable to listen to instructions, and face problems with organizing tasks.
"Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder popularly known as ADHD, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder encountered in children which may continue till adulthood or lifelong and affect an individual in innumerable ways. ADHD still remains a mystery for most parents, as its presenting signs are just exaggerated presentations of the natural behavioural patterns of a growing child," Arouba Kabir, Mental Health Counselor, Founder Enso Wellness.
Basic activities like paying attention, listening, sitting still, or waiting their turn are something all children get fidgety about once in a while. But for kids with ADHD, this is a constant observation.
"It’s important to realize that these kids don’t do this on purpose, the neurological predisposition often interludes with their ability to concentrate, be calm and organized to say the least," says Kabir.
Common signs and symptoms of ADHD
The mental health expert also talks about the common signs and symptoms in children with ADHD:
Children with ADHD have trouble listening and following instructions, difficulty in paying attention, need constant reminders for carrying out tasks with frequent distractions.
They may also seem a little absent minded, disorganized or just generally lost in a world of their own.
It may also be difficult to ask them to sit still or be patient. Even with at-par IQ, these children often rush through homework, assignments or other tasks making careless mistakes signifying their lack of interests in the task at hand.
The often feel restless and frustrated making them extremely fidgety.
At first, parents often might not even realize that these behaviours are part of any abnormal patterns, let alone think about their child having ADHD. For them, it may seem like a child is just misbehaving, says Kabir.
"This can leave parents feeling stressed, frustrated, or disrespected. With a concomitant feeling of embarrassment pertaining to what the society must be thinking about their child's behaviour. They can be left wondering if they did something to cause it. But for kids with ADHD, the skills that control attention, behaviour and patience come with some difficulty. When parents educate themselves about ADHD and the various parenting approaches that work best for their child they can help kids improve and do well," says Kabir.
If you feel that your child is suffering from ADHD, you should not panic and take help from a professional psychologist. After preliminary consultation, the next step is getting the required testing done and following with necessary steps thereafter. Parents need to have a positive approach to deal with the problem as your response could greatly affect your child's mental health.
"Remember correct parenting is as important as any other part of ADHD treatment. The way parents respond can make ADHD better — or worse for the child. Every child is different. As parents, it’s your role to identify the problems your child is facing has because of ADHD. Some kids need help getting better at paying attention and listening. Others need to get better at slowing down. Ask your child's therapist for tips and ways you can help your child practice and improve," says the mental health expert.
"Your child may be facing resentment from various people, it’s important for them to feel safe with you. This journey is challenging for them as well thus always be compassionate and supportive towards them. Keep reminding them that you are in it with them and they aren’t alone. Let your child know you believe in them and see all the good things about them," says Kabir.
Attempts must be made by parents to sensitize people around them about their child's condition and also join support groups for patients whose kids have ADHD.
"Another important step you can take is to approach the school and talk to them about your child’s condition. Making them aware and sensitizing them towards the situation will help your child cope better at school. You can also join support groups for parents whose kids have ADHD to connect with others and form a community that can understand the challenges and can help you manage what comes your way in a better way. Remember, ADHD doesn’t have a cure but it is easily manageable with the right approach," says the counsellor.