Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect a child's growth and development and their relationships as well. A person with ADHD has differences in brain activity and development. It affects their ability to focus, sit still and control. It is diagnosed mostly in children by the time they are approaching their teenage.
Common signs to check if your child has ADHD:
Every kid struggles at times to focus, listen, sit still or wait for their turn but there might be times when we ignore that our child may get more disruptive than usual. Here are some signs that will help you to identify if your child is struggling with ADHD:
Self-focused behaviour: This is one of the common signs of ADHD. It is a condition where the child is unable to recognise other people’s efforts and abilities over himself.
Interrupting: Since the child is so self-centered, a child with ADHD wants to stay in the center of conversation no matter what. So if they don't get enough attention, they start to interrupt in between the conversation and get involved in the conversation they’re not a part of.
Impatient: Children with ADHD have trouble waiting for everything, be it waiting for their turn during classroom activities, playing games in groups, etc.
Emotional turmoil: Kids with ADHD cannot hold on to their emotions, they experience extreme emotions such as being over-excited on small things and outbursts of anger at inappropriate times.
Fidgeting: Not being able to sit still at a place is a major symptom. They always want to get up and run whenever they are instructed to sit at a particular place.
Unfinished tasks: Kids with ADHD get interested in many things at one point but end up leaving them halfway. For example, they start colouring and in the middle of it, they may get bored of that and start doing something else.
Lack of focus: A child with ADHD has trouble paying attention and they act up as if they’re all ears to you but they lose their interest even if you talk directly to them.
Unorganised: Children with ADHD have trouble keeping a track of their tasks and activities. This causes them problems in school as they lose interest while doing homework, projects, etc.
Forgetfulness: Kids with ADHD tend to become forgetful in their daily activities. They may forget to do their daily homework and daily chores too and might lose their toys and other belongings very easily.
If you find these signs of ADHD in your child, book an appointment with your child's doctor. A doctor’s check-up will make sure if something else isn't causing the symptoms.
Some daily tasks that children with ADHD may have trouble with include:
How is ADHD treated?
The treatment of ADHD is a gradual process. Parents and teachers play a big role in teaching children ways to manage their emotions and behaviour. This will help them to learn and improve their attention and self-control.
If not treated well, it can hamper their emotional growth and may eventually lead to low self-esteem, depression, conflict at school and home, etc.
Treatment for ADHD usually includes:
Medicine: Medicines regularise the brain's ability to pay attention, slow down and have self-control.
Behaviour therapy: Psychiatrists can help with therapy to work on the behavior of the kids, helping them to develop their social, emotional skills that are missing with ADHD.
Parent coaching: Parents play the most vital role in tackling the difficulties of ADHD. It is always the parents first who need to help their child to be more focussed and deal with the situations accordingly.
School support: Teachers monitor the child and help the child to have a good experience at school.
Activities to do with your child who has ADHD:
There is a lot of fun, simple games you can play with your child to keep them happy, healthy, and work off excess energy:
Indoor scavenger hunt: Give them a small list of 5 things and set a reward when they find them all. This will help them to stay focused.
Paintings: Paintings of different types like bubble painting, leaf painting, etc is always a good idea. The variety will excite your child and this activity will not only help them to retain their focus but also will make them sit in one place and enjoy.
Dance party: Dancing is an age-old way to have fun and it can make your child relax.
Music: Singing is always a good way to pass the time but it has other benefits too. This activity will help to improve language development, improve the concentration and social skills of the children.
Spend time in greens: Greens such as parks, gardens will help your child improve ADHD symptoms and will help with their emotional turmoil. Let the children play outdoors under supervision.
Storytelling: This is an amazing way to connect with your child, share different stories and let them build an imaginary world with different perspectives. Children with ADHD tend to possess self-centered abilities so tell them a story in a way that they get the moral of it.
Board games: These activities are ideal for shorter attention spans and will help impulsive children to learn to wait for turns. It will boost their attention span and strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
Fun activities are especially essential for hyperactive children since they enjoyably learn many skills.