Saturday, November 25, 2017 by Rita Winters
Normal children tend to be inattentive at times, hyperactive, and sometimes impulsive. However, there are some children who have all those qualities amplified. These children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, and it affects 4–12 percent of all school-aged children.
ADHD is one of the most common behavioral disorders that spring from childhood, at an estimated rate of 5.29 to 7.1 percent in children and adolescents, and at 3.4 percent in adults. While most people think ADHD can be outgrown, it actually carries over from childhood to adulthood. When ignored, individuals with ADHD develop unfavorable behaviors such as addiction, poor time management, poor organization, lack of concentration, and low self-esteem.
Children with this disorder generally have these three main characteristics: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattention encompasses the inability to complete tasks, difficulty in following directions, forgetfulness, and problems with organization. Hyperactivity may include symptoms such as the inability to sit still, restlessness, and the inability to remain quiet. Symptoms of impulsivity include speaking out of turn, blurting out answers (before hearing the whole question), and the inability to wait.
We all know that most children act this way sometimes, but children with ADHD display these signs almost all of the time.
The causes of ADHD are currently unknown, but most experts believe that it may be genetic. Other factors that may give rise to ADHD are chemical imbalances, traumatic head injuries, brain irregularities and disorders, exposure to toxins, and poor nutrition. Most of the food that children love can also intensify the symptoms of ADHD. Food items such as chocolate, candies and sodas have high sugar content and caffeine that aggravates hyperactivity. Too much exposure to electronic devices and video games may also worsen their condition.
Since children spend most of their time at school, the school must be able to take care of children with this disorder. Disciplinary procedures in school today do not prove effective for children with ADHD. Conventional teaching methods and techniques will work on normal school children, but will not work on individuals with a hyperactive brain. However, most schools maintain the same customary, no matter what condition a student may have. As a result, ADHD children grow up without the knowledge of how to control their impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Other ways to help a child cope with ADHD is by spreading information and awareness on ADHD through health classes. Children should learn what ADHD is and how to socialize or befriend a child who has it. Good nutrition may also be key in helping children manage their energy levels. Families of children with ADHD can also show their support by enrolling their children in some family therapy sessions, or creating a “safe space” where they can let go of their built-up energy.