What is ADHD syndrome in children?
Many of you will hear about this disorder for the first time. Not enough is talked and known about it. Is it easier to call a child evil and rude or to be understanding and help…?
Attention and concentration disorder is a common disorder, especially in extraordinarily intelligent children. For them, it can be hard to bear, especially if they do not have the support of their family, teachers and experts. They do not know how to focus their attention on a task. Not easy at all! We encounter hyperactivity in everyday vocabulary. How many times have you said for your own child or someone else’s child that it is hyperactive? Are you wrong? Are playfulness and hyperactivity the same? How to deal with a disorder called ADHD? Psychologist Trpimir Jakovina came to the rescue and gave answers to the questions of the Ordinacija.hr team related to this disorder.
What is hyperactivity and how can we recognize it in children?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and adolescence. This disorder includes increased motor activity of the child, which is accompanied by inadequately developed and easily distracted attention, sudden, unpredictable and impulsive reactions. Such child is restless in class, distracts others, cannot complete the simplest task, is careless, always in trouble, moody, irritable, cannot maintain friendships etc.
Hyperactivity is often mistaken for playfulness, how to recognize the difference?
Parents and teachers often mistake hyperactivity for playfulness, normal behavior of an active preschool child, or some other problems, of psychological or medical nature, that can produce behavior similar to ADHD. Therefore, it is important that a multidisciplinary team of experts is involved in diagnosing ADHD. In order to establish the diagnosis of ADHD, it is important that the child has six or more symptoms that last for at least six months in two or more environments (e.g. school/kindergarten and home) and occur before the age of seven. The symptoms of inattention have to be present (e.g. the child often does not follow instructions, has difficulty paying attention, organizing activities, often avoids tasks, loses things, external stimuli distract him/her, etc.), as well as the symptoms of hyperactivity – impulsiveness (the child fidgets, cannot sit still, excessively runs or climbs, talks too much, often starts answering before the end of the question, often interrupts or distracts others, etc.).
What causes hyperactivity?
The cause of the disorder has not been completely explained yet. However, today we know for sure that it is certainly not a lack of parental care, excessive television watching or inadequate nutrition. Hyperactivity is most likely caused by a combination of genetic, neurological, biochemical and environmental factors. Lately, ADHD is associated with a disorder in the metabolic functions of the brain. Namely, the brain metabolism in hyperactive children was found to be 8 percent lower than in other children. The greatest differences were found precisely in the areas of the brain that regulate attention and motor control.
How is it treated?
ADHD is sometimes treated with drugs, most often with stimulants (amphetamines) that help children focus on the task and reduce behavioral problems. The latest knowledge on the lower metabolic activity of the brain supports the use of stimulants, which have a soothing effect on these children. However, as with all medicines, side effects occur; insomnia, indigestion, dizziness, weight loss, etc. The best results are achieved by the so-called multimodal approach, that is, the simultaneous application of appropriate drugs and various psychosocial and psycho-educational approaches. It is extremely important to educate parents and the environment on the nature of the disorder, for the environment to be better adapted to the child. Ignoring this disorder, as well as the absence of optimal treatment, has devastating consequences on the child’s development, hindering him/her in his/her education and the process of becoming a healthy social being.
Who to contact?
There are no specialized institutions dealing with ADHD alone, but parents who notice some of the symptoms of hyperactivity in their children can contact the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, the Children’s Hospital Zagreb – the Psychotrauma Center or the Specialist Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital.
prof. Ivana Grbavac
taken from the website