How young can you diagnose adhd
18 Early Warning Signs of ADHD in Children
Every kid is inattentive or hyperactive at times. When they show a habit of these behaviors, parents play a big part in bringing about positive change.
Posted by The Iowa Clinic on Friday, May 29, 2020
Compared to their parents, most kids appear hyperactive. They’re always on the go. They’re easily distracted. And they have endless amounts of energy.
When parents worry about their kids having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they tend to focus on this hyperactivity. But more attention should be paid to the last word in the condition: disorder.
ADHD is a chronic illness. More than 60 percent of children who have it carry it with them into adulthood. Early diagnosis can help your child receive the treatment they need and give you the tools to help them manage their condition.
ADHD symptoms are common behaviors seen in all kids.
ADHD is complex. You can’t simply check off a few symptoms from a list and diagnose it. At one point or another, every single child showcases an ADHD symptom. You may see it and think there’s something wrong. But on the whole, they’re exhibiting normal behaviors for a child their age.
Those behaviors are outlined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and fall into two groups: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Within each category, there are nine symptoms associated with ADHD.
Signs of Inattention
Attention is half the problem in ADHD. Whether it’s to you or a teacher, at home or at school, kids with ADHD may find it hard to pay attention. And that interferes with their ability to listen, learn and even think. Your child may have trouble:
- Paying attention to details or make careless mistakes
- Focusing on tasks or at play
- Listening when you or a teacher speaks to them directly
- Following through on instructions, homework or chores
- Organizing tasks or activities
- Completing tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time and express their dislike or completely avoid these things
- Keeping track of their belongings, like school supplies, glasses or a phone
- Remembering things in daily activities
- Avoiding distractions
Signs of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
An excitable kid with high energy who acts on their every impulse may fall on the hyperactivity and impulsivity end of the disorder. These behaviors can be more disruptive, especially in school. Your child might:
- Fidget, squirm and constantly tap their hands or feet
- Get out of their seat in school, church or other situations where they should remain seated
- Run and climb in inappropriate places or situations
- Be unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly
- Have a high motor and always be on the go
- Talk excessively
- Blurt out answers before questions are completed
- Have trouble waiting their turn
- Interrupt conversations and games
You may look at these lists and think, “Yeah, that’s my kid.” While in the wrong settings, many of these behaviors are disruptive — even embarrassing — they might be completely normal for your child’s age. For example, many parents start worrying about ADHD in their toddlers. But these symptoms are normal for children at that developmental stage.
The signs can still show up pretty early on though. ADHD can be diagnosed as early as four years old. To be diagnosed between the ages of four and 16, a child must show six or more symptoms for more than six months, with most signs appearing before age 12. And the behaviors have to show up in more than one setting, like at both school and at home, and cause problems in those settings.
Wondering if Your Kid's Behavior is Normal?
Your first call should be to your pediatrician so you can understand when normal turns disruptive.
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ADHD is the same as ADD.
They used to be considered different disorders. If a child showed inattentive symptoms, they were diagnosed with ADD. If they showed hyperactive or impulsive symptoms, it was ADHD.
Now, they are considered the same disorder — just different variations of it. Depending on which set of symptoms a child has, they fall into one of three categories:
- Predominantly inattentive – This is what used to be known as ADD. A kid displays most signs of inattention but isn’t hyper or impulsive.
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive – A child can focus and pay attention, but shows many signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
- Combined – Most children with ADHD are a mixed bag. They have symptoms from both sides of the disorder.
ADHD behaviors are so interconnected that they can change over time. Your child could be diagnosed with the combined form of ADHD and, years later, be predominantly inattentive. When their symptoms change, their treatment may change too.
There’s more to managing ADHD than medication.
By the last count, more than 11 percent of children in Iowa were diagnosed with ADHD, according to the 2011 National Survey of Children’s Health. Eighty percent of them are taking medication for it.
Ritalin and Adderall are well-known ADHD medications and are effective for the majority of children. They are fast-acting stimulants that reduce the number and severity of symptoms. But they don’t work for every child. Non-stimulants are used instead when stimulants are ineffective or present unwanted side effects like sleep issues, poor appetite and social withdrawal.
Medication is often used alongside behavior management, and that’s where parents come in. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just updated their guidelines for treating children with ADHD in September. The new guidelines emphasize parent training in behavior management and recommend it as the first-line of treatment — before medications — for children six and under.
Parenting Tips for Helping a Child with ADHD
Raising a child with ADHD can be challenging, especially in the early years when they are rapidly developing and aren’t old enough to try medication. But no matter their age or prescription, parents play a major role in managing problematic behaviors.
The AAP’s advice boils down to structure, organization and simplification. You can only really control the home environment. But if you do what you can to make things simple and structured, you can help improve your child manage their condition.
- Create a routine. Schedules are a must. They set expectations from breakfast to bedtime, helping to keep kids focused on tasks or activities while limiting their distractions.
- Organize everything. In addition to structuring your child’s days, structure their environment. An orderly environment where every toy and item has a home helps forgetful children keep track of their belongings.
- Limit their choices. The amount of options can be overwhelming for children with ADHD. Make your child’s life more manageable be letting them choose from a limited set of options, whether it’s what they want to eat or what they want to do during the day.
- Make lists. Break things down step-by-step for them. Lists help limit choices, build good habits and set clear paths for long-term and otherwise unmanageable tasks. For younger kids, illustrated lists are more effective. Use pictures that illustrate the steps they need to complete. You can make it interactive by allowing them to move a picture to a different area on the chart to help give them a sense of achievement.
- Stay positive. Rewarding good actions is a major component of behavior therapy. You must outline clear consequences and discipline for poor behavior. But positive reinforcement is critical. Offer up affection, praise, or prizes when they hit their goals, accomplish their tasks or even just pay attention.
Help establish healthy habits. An unhealthy lifestyle can make ADHD symptoms worse. Make sure your child is eating right and getting plenty of exercise and sleep.
Additional Help for Parents and Children with ADHD
You control the home, but ADHD behaviors are present in at least one other setting. So you need additional support and coordination with teachers, family and the community to help your child manage their condition when you’re not there.
Your kid may require additional assistance in the classroom or other services at school where they have behavioral specialists trained to help. Keep an open line of communication with your child’s teachers and the staff at their school to better coordinate your efforts and keep tabs on progress.
Teachers are also important in diagnosing ADHD. They provide valuable insights into whether a child is having the same difficulties at school as they are elsewhere. If you or a teacher are concerned about your child’s behavior, set up an appointment with your pediatrician to get an accurate diagnosis of the type and receive proper treatment. It’s a team effort, but with the right tools, your child can succeed and thrive despite their condition.
How Young is Too Young for Diagnosis
Written by Hedy Marks
Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on June 24, 2016
How early is too early to tell if your toddler or preschooler might have ADHD?
Most children aren’t checked for ADHD until they’re school age, but kids as young as 4 can be diagnosed, according to guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
At that age, many kids are active and impulsive. So what’s different about kids with ADHD? And if your young child has ADHD, how is it treated?
Stand Out From Other Tots
Compared to other kids their age, children with ADHD often have a harder time sitting still, even for a few minutes. They are unable to wait their turn -- blurting out answers or cutting to the front of the line, for example -- and they may talk excessively.
"Young kids with ADHD are incredibly active all the time," says James Perrin, MD, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School. "Most 4-year-olds are very active in general, but they settle down -- take naps, sit for meals. A child with ADHD is on the go all the time."
"What sets these kids apart is the degree and frequency with which they are hyper and impulsive," says George DuPaul, PhD, professor of school psychology at Lehigh University. "These kids are literally plowing through activities and people at a high pace."
ADHD is diagnosed based on symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. But inattention often isn’t as apparent in preschoolers.
Sometimes, well-meaning parents, caregivers, or teachers may suspect ADHD. That's not enough. A doctor's full evaluation is needed for diagnosis.
To diagnose a preschooler, a doctor will rely on a detailed descriptions of your child's behavior from parents, day care providers, preschool teachers, and other adults who regularly see your child, along with their own observation. It’s important to talk about all symptoms with your doctor.
Just because your child has some hyperactivity and impulsivity doesn't mean they have ADHD. For example, children who are frustrated because they have a problem with seeing, hearing, or talking may act out in the same way as children with ADHD. Your child may need testing to rule out other possibilities.
Behavioral Therapy Comes First
For preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD, behavioral therapy is the first treatment.
This type of treatment involves changes in behavior by parents and teachers. Techniques include praising and rewarding good behavior, ignoring bad behavior, and using time-outs. Structure and routine are important for young kids with ADHD.
The Medication Question
If your child is 4 or older and you’ve tried behavioral therapy for at least 6 months without much change, you can also try low-dose ADHD medication.
"But don't ever give up on behavioral therapy," Perrin says. "Behavioral therapy is important even when a child is on medication."
Not all ADHD medicines are FDA approved for children younger than 6. But many doctors prescribe these drugs for preschoolers with ADHD.
"ADHD medication doesn't work as well for this age group," Perrin says. "It definitely does work, but it works less powerfully and less predictably in younger children than in an older child."
Although there can be side effects, the AAP believes that the benefits outweigh the risks in young children who aren't getting better with behavioral therapy.
A study found that young children are more sensitive than older children to the side effects of methylphenidate, one of the more commonly used medications. Those side effects may include delayed growth, loss of appetite and weight loss, insomnia, and anxiety. The side effects, including delayed growth, reversed once the kids stopped taking the medication, DuPaul says.
There aren't any studies on the long-term effects in children who start ADHD drugs at such a young age. But studies of children in elementary school "have not indicated any long-term side effects of treatment," DuPaul says.
Deciding whether to make medication part of your child’s treatment isn’t easy. It's a decision that’s made after carefully weighing the pros and cons. What’s right for one child (and family) may not be right for yours. Talk to your child's doctor, and together you can decide what’s best for your child.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - LabyrinthMed Medical Center Krasnoyarsk
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that manifests itself in preschool or early school age. It is difficult for such children to control their behavior and concentrate. It has been found that 3 to 5 percent of children suffer from ADHD. This means that in a class of 25-30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD.
ADHD was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann in 1845. In 1902, Sir George F. Still published a series of lectures that described a group of impulsive children with significant problems due to genetic dysfunction rather than poor parenting - children who are today diagnosed with ADHD.
A child with ADHD faces difficult but not insurmountable challenges. For these children to reach their full potential, they need the help, guidance and understanding of parents, school teachers and the education system.
The medical center "LabyrinthMed" practices an integrated approach to the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Comprehensive examination includes:
- reception of a psychotherapist;
- appointment with a neurologist;
- session of a medical psychologist, correctional session of a defectologist.
According to the results of the examination, a correction program with specific recommendations is prescribed and treatment is prescribed.
You can make an appointment with a specialist or undergo a comprehensive examination on this problem by calling (391) 235-00-15, 217-80-30 or through the website in the Appointment with a doctor section.
In this article you can learn in detail about the features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The main symptoms of ADHD are attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity . These signs appear at a very early age. Since many healthy children also have these symptoms, but to a lesser extent, or caused by another disorder, it is important for the child to have a thorough examination and an appropriate diagnosis made by a highly qualified specialist.
Symptoms of ADHD appear over many months, usually symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity precede symptoms of inattention, which may not appear for a year or more. In different social conditions, different symptoms appear, depending on the requirements for self-control of the child in a particular situation. A child who "can't sit still" or who ruins everything is visible at school, but an inattentive dreamer may not be noticed. An impulsive child who acts first and thinks later may be thought to have "discipline problems", while a passive or slow child may simply be considered not very motivated. However, both can have different types of ADHD. All children are sometimes restless, sometimes they do something without thinking, sometimes they float away somewhere in their dreams. When hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect school performance, relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected in a child. Since symptoms vary greatly depending on social conditions, it is very difficult to diagnose ADHD. This is especially true in cases where attention deficit is the primary symptom.
There are three types of ADHD. There is a hyperactivity/impulsivity predominance type (where there are few signs of inattention), an attention-deficit predominance type (the signs of hyperactivity/impulsivity are mild; and a mixed type (with both attention deficit hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms).
Hyperactive children seem to be constantly on the move and on their feet They destroy everything around them by grabbing and playing with everything in sight or talking incessantly They find it difficult to sit still at the table during lunch and school, or calmly communicate They squirm and fidget in chairs, or roam around the room Or twirl their feet, touch everything, tap loudly with a pencil Hyperactive teenagers or adults feel inner anxiety They often tell that they need to be busy and may try to do nes how many things at the same time.
Impulsive children cannot control their immediate reaction or think before doing something. They often blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions uncontrollably, and act without considering the consequences of their behavior. Their impulsiveness prevents them from waiting for something they want or their turn in the game. They may take a toy from another child or hit if they are upset. Even teenagers or adults impulsively choose activities that bring even a small but immediate return, instead of doing something that requires a lot of effort, but also provides a much larger reward - but later.
Some of the signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity are manifested in the fact that children:
- Feel restless, often wiggle their arms and legs or fidget in a chair
- Run, climb and leave their place in situations where they need to sit and be quiet
- Shout out answers before the whole question is heard
- Having difficulty standing in line or waiting their turn in a game
It is difficult for inattentive children to concentrate on one thing, the task can tire them just a few minutes after it starts. If they are doing something they really enjoy, they have no problem concentrating. But on purpose, consciously focusing on organizing and completing a task, on learning something new, is hard for them.
Homework is especially difficult for these children. They forget to write it down or leave it at school. They forget to bring a textbook or bring the wrong one. If, nevertheless, homework is done, it is full of mistakes and blots. Homework often causes despair in both the child and the parent.
Criteria for attention deficit disorder are:
- Children are easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds
- They do not pay attention to details and make mistakes due to their carelessness
- Rarely follow instructions carefully and completely, forget or lose things such as small toys, pencils, books and tools needed to complete the task
- Often rushing from one unfinished business to another
Children diagnosed with ADHD with attention deficits rarely have problems due to hyperactivity or impulsivity, but have significant difficulty concentrating. They appear dreamy, "absent," easily embarrassed, and move slowly and sluggishly. They find it difficult to process information as quickly and accurately as other children. When a teacher gives verbal or written instructions, it is difficult for such a child to understand what he or she should do, and they make many mistakes. In addition, such a child may sit still, be well-behaved, and even seem immersed in work, but he does not pay enough attention to it or does not fully understand the task or instructions.
These children do not have serious problems with impulsivity or hyperactivity in the classroom, at school or at home. They get along better with other children than those with the more impulsive and hyperactive type of ADHD. They may not experience the social problems of mixed ADHD at all. Too often, their attention problems are overlooked. And they need help just as much as kids with other forms of ADHD who have more obvious problems in the classroom.
Is it really ADHD?
Not everyone with excessive hyperactivity, inattention or impulsivity has ADHD. Since most people sometimes say things they didn't want to say, jump from one task to another, be disorganized and forgetful, the question arises: how experts determine whether a child has ADHD or not.
Since every child has these problems from time to time, this diagnosis requires that such behavior be unacceptable for a person of this age. The diagnostic standards also contain specific criteria for identifying symptoms that are indicative of ADHD. Behavioral problems should start in early childhood, before age 7, and last for at least 6 months. Most importantly, such behavior must actually create severe problems in at least two areas of a person's life: at school, on the playground, at home, in the group of people to which he belongs, or in the environment where he has to communicate. Therefore, if a person has these symptoms, but they do not disrupt their school life and relationships with friends, then they will not be diagnosed with ADHD. Nor would such a diagnosis be given to a child who is overly active on the playground but has no difficulty in other social settings.
To determine if a child has ADHD, psychiatrists consider several critical questions: is the behavior excessive, how long has it been occurring, is it creating difficulties in life? That is, does this behavior occur more often in a child than in peers? Is this a permanent problem or is it a response to a temporary situation? Do these behavioral problems occur in multiple social settings, or only in one particular place—on the playground or at school?
Some parents notice signs of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity in their infant long before they start school. The child may lose interest in the game and the TV show, or run aimlessly back and forth, not listening to the parents at all. But since all children develop differently and vary greatly in personality traits, temperament and activity, it would be useful to hear the opinion of an expert on how acceptable such behavior is at a given age. Parents can see a pediatrician, child psychologist, or psychiatrist to determine if their child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or, more commonly at that age, it's just immaturity or unusually high energy.
ADHD may be suspected by a parent or caregiver, or may go unnoticed until the child has problems at school. Due to the fact that ADHD most strongly affects a child's activities in school, sometimes the teacher is the first to determine that the child is hyperactive or not attentive enough, and can point this out to parents and / or the school psychologist. Since educators work with many children, they begin to understand how "average" children usually behave in lessons that require attention and self-control. However, teachers sometimes fail to notice the needs of children who are inattentive and passive, and also quiet and cooperative, such as children with an inattentive form of ADHD.
Specialists who can diagnose
If ADHD is suspected, who should the family contact first? Which specialists should be contacted?
Diagnosis should ideally be made by a specialist in the field of ADHD. Psychiatrists, pediatricians, neurologists - these are the specialties most often involved in the differential diagnosis of ADHD.
Parents can start by contacting their pediatrician. Some pediatricians can make the diagnosis themselves, but more often they refer parents to a suitable psychiatrist they know and trust.
Psychiatrists are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood mental disorders. A psychiatrist can provide treatment and prescribe any necessary medications. Psychologists can also treat ADHD. They can help the family develop ways to deal with the disorder. Neurologists—doctors who treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems—can also diagnose ADHD and prescribe medications. But unlike psychiatrists and psychologists, they cannot provide treatment and correction of the emotional aspects of the disorder.
The main task of the specialist is to collect information that excludes other possible reasons for the child's behavior. Here are the possible causes of behavior similar to ADHD:
- A sudden change in a child's life - the death of a parent or grandparent; divorce of parents; job loss by parents
- Undiagnosed epilepsy
- Otitis media causing hearing loss
- Somatic diseases affecting brain function
- Teaching below the level of one's ability due to learning disabilities
- Anxiety or depression
In most cases, the child's social adaptation and mental health are assessed. He is given tests to determine the level of intelligence and school knowledge to see if the child has learning difficulties and in what subjects these problems occur.
After that, the specialist creates a general picture of the child's behavior. What type of ADHD behavior is the child exhibiting? How often? In what situations? How long ago did he have it? How old was the child then? Are the behavior problems chronic and permanent, or are they temporary due to some cause? How seriously do behavioral problems interfere with the child's friendships, school activities, home life, or participation in social activities? Does the child have other related problems? The answers to these questions will help determine whether the child's hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are indeed significant and have been around for a long time. If so, the child may be diagnosed with ADHD.
A correct diagnosis often clears up confusion by clarifying the causes of a child's problems, and this allows parents and children to move on with more accurate information about what is wrong and what can be done to help. Once the disorder is diagnosed, the child and family can begin to receive the combination of educational, medical, and emotional support they need. This may include providing guidance to school staff, selecting the most appropriate class, selecting the correct drug, and helping parents establish and maintain control over their child's behavior.
What causes ADHD
One of the very first questions parents ask is "Why? What went wrong?" "Am I to blame for what happened?" There is currently little direct evidence that ADHD can only arise from adverse social factors or poor parenting. The most well-founded causes seem to lie in the fields of neuroscience and genetics. This does not mean that environmental factors do not affect the severity of the disease, in particular, the degree of damage and suffering inflicted on the child may depend on them, but such factors do not cause ADHD by themselves.
Parents should focus on the future and look for the best possible ways to help their child. Scientists are studying the causes in an effort to find better treatments, and perhaps someday even ways to prevent ADHD. They are finding more and more evidence that ADHD does not depend on the situation in the family, but follows from biological causes. Knowing this, you can remove a heavy burden of guilt from parents who may blame themselves for the child's misbehavior.
Over the past decades, scientists have proposed several theories of ADHD. Some of these theories have stalled, while others lead to new lines of research.
Studies have shown that there is a possible relationship between smoking and drinking during pregnancy and the likelihood of ADHD. To avoid this, it is better to refrain from using cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy.
Another environmental factor that may be associated with an increased likelihood of ADHD is high lead levels in young children. Since the use of lead in paint was banned, it can only be found in older buildings, and exposure to toxic levels of lead is not as dominant a cause of ADHD as it once was. Children living in older homes where lead is found in plumbing and lead-based paint surfaces that have been repainted are at risk.
One of the first theories claimed that attention disorders were caused by brain injury. Some children who have had accidents that lead to brain injury may exhibit some of the behaviors that are characteristic of ADHD. But it was found that only a small percentage of children with ADHD had suffered a traumatic brain injury.
ADHD is often present in several family members, therefore genetic causes are likely. Studies show that 25% of close relatives of children with ADHD also have this syndrome, while in the general population this figure is approximately 5%. Most studies of twins have now shown that heredity strongly influences the occurrence of this disorder.
Scientists continue to study the influence of genetics on ADHD and identify the genes responsible for a person's predisposition to ADHD
Treatment for ADHD
Every family wants to know what treatment will be most effective for their child. Each family should answer this question to their attending physician.
The results of the study showed that the combined treatment was the most effective. An additional benefit of combination treatment was that these children were successfully treated with lower doses of drugs compared to the drug-only group.
What treatment should my child receive?
No one type of treatment can be considered universal for every child with ADHD. Sometimes a child may have unwanted side effects, and this may make the use of drug therapy unacceptable. And if the child also suffers from anxiety or depression in addition to ADHD, then the combination of drug treatment and psychotherapy is the best option. The child's needs and personal medical history must be carefully considered.
Things to remember about ADHD medications
• ADHD medications help many children concentrate and be more successful at school, at home or on the playground. The ability to avoid negative experiences can really help children avoid alcohol or drug addiction in the future and cope with other emotional problems.
• About 80 percent of children who need medication for ADHD continue to take medication into their teens. More than 50 percent need the drug as adults.
Family and child with ADHD
Drug therapy can help the child in his daily life. It will be easier for him to control some of the behavior problems that lead to difficulties in relationships with parents and siblings. But in order to remove the despair accumulated over a long period of time, the habit of blaming and anger takes time. Both parents and children may need specialized help to learn how to manage their child's behavior. In such cases, psychiatrists and psychotherapists can counsel the family and the child, helping them develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of communicating with each other. During individual conversations, a psychotherapist helps children with ADHD learn to improve their self-esteem. In addition, a psychotherapist can help them find and build on strengths, deal with everyday problems, and control attention and aggression. Sometimes psychological counseling is necessary only for a child. But more often, because a child's disorder affects the family as a whole, all family members need help. The therapist helps the family find the most appropriate ways to deal with the child's destructive behavior and suggests new options. If the child is small, the therapist works mainly with the parents, teaching them how to cope with the child and improve his behavior.
There are different methods of influence. Having information about various methods of influence, it is easier for the family to choose the right psychotherapist.
Psychotherapy aims to help people with ADHD love and accept themselves for who they are, despite the disorder. It does not deal with the symptoms or causes of the disorder. During psychotherapy, patients talk to the therapist about sad thoughts and feelings, identify self-destructive behaviors, and look for alternative ways to manage their emotions. During the conversation, the therapist tries to help them understand how they can change, or how best to cope with their disorder.
Psychological Correction helps people develop more effective ways of dealing with immediate problems. It helps the child to change his way of thinking and psychologically adapt rather than to understand his feelings and actions - and thus can change the behavior of the child. Support can take the form of practical help, such as help with homework or schoolwork, or in dealing with emotionally stressful situations. Or support can be about self-control of behavior, self-reward, and self-rewarding for actions performed in a desired way - say, if a person coped with anger or thought before doing something.
Communication training can also help children learn new behaviors. By teaching communication skills, the therapist discusses and models appropriate behaviors that are important for developing and maintaining relationships with others in situations such as waiting in line, sharing toys, asking for help, or responding appropriately to teasing. Subsequently, the children are given an attempt to practice these skills. For example, a child may learn to read other people's facial expressions and tone of voice in order to answer them correctly. Communication skills training helps a child find better ways to play or interact with other children.
support groups help parents connect with others who have similar problems and who are concerned about their children with ADHD. Members of support groups meet regularly (eg, monthly) to hear lectures from ADHD specialists, share frustrations and successes, get referrals to qualified professionals, and learn about their work. Their strength lies in numbers, and by sharing their experiences with others who have similar problems, they learn things that they could never have known if they were alone.
Parenting Skills Training , provided by psychotherapists, provides parents with methods and techniques to manage their child's behavior. One such method is the use of badges or points systems to immediately assess good behavior or performance. Another method is to "time out" or isolate the child in a chair or in the bedroom when he becomes too rebellious or out of control. During "time-outs" the child is removed from the disturbing situation and sits quietly alone for a while to calm down. Parents are also sometimes advised to spend time with their child every day doing something enjoyable and relaxing. During this time spent with the child, the parent looks for opportunities to note and point out what the child is doing well and to praise him or her for success and ability.
Rewards and penalties can be an effective way to change a child's behavior. The parent (or teacher) identifies several good behaviors that they want to encourage in the child (for example, asking for a toy rather than grabbing it, or completing a simple task in its entirety). The child is directly told what he must do in order to receive a reward. The child is rewarded when he performs the desired behavior and moderately punished when he does not. The reward may be small - for example, a badge of honor is given to a child for special merits - but it must be something desired for the child to want to earn it. As a punishment, you can remove the badge of honor or give a short "time-out". The goal is to eventually teach the child to control his behavior and choose the most desirable way of behavior. This method works well with all children, although children with ADHD may need additional, more frequent encouragement.
In addition, parents can learn to create situations for their children in which they can succeed. This may be the case, for example, when parents allow only one or two partners to take part in the game so that their child cannot become overexcited. Or, when a child has trouble completing tasks, they must learn to help their child, break a large task into several smaller ones, and reward the child for completing each small part. Regardless of how parents specifically influence their child's behavior, some general principles will be helpful to most children with ADHD. These principles call for more frequent and even immediate responses to a child's actions (this applies to both rewards and punishments), to take the necessary measures in advance to prevent potentially problematic situations, to look after children more closely and to encourage them in situations when they are not interested or boring.
Parents can also learn how to use stress management techniques such as meditation, relaxation techniques and exercise to help them cope when things go wrong and respond more calmly to their children's behavior.
A few simple ways to influence behavior
Children with ADHD may need organizational help. So you need:
• Schedule. Organize the same routine for each day from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. The schedule should allocate time for homework and play (including outdoor walks and home activities like computer games). Hang this schedule on your refrigerator door or on a stand in your kitchen. If changes need to be made to the schedule, make them as early as possible.
• Get all the essentials in order. Everything should have its own place, and everything should be kept in its place. This applies to clothing, backpacks and school supplies.
• It is necessary to use diaries to control homework. Emphasize the importance of writing down assignments and having all the necessary books at home.
Children with ADHD need a consistent system of rules that are clear and strict. If children follow these rules, give them small rewards. Children with ADHD are often criticized, and they are already waiting for criticism. Try to find examples of your child's good behavior and praise for it.
Your child with ADHD and the school
You are the best advocate for your child. To be a good advocate for your child, learn as much as you can about ADHD and how it affects your child at home, at school, and in community life.
If your child has symptoms of ADHD at an early age, has been evaluated, diagnosed and treated with behavior modification, medication, or a combination of both, notify the child's teachers when the child enters school. Then they will be better prepared to assist the child in entering this new world away from home.
Never forget the fundamental rule: Your child's best protector is yourself.
Your teenager with ADHD
Your child with ADHD has successfully made it to the end of elementary school and is starting middle school and then high school. Although your child has been examined periodically during these years, now is the time to fully re-examine his health.
The teenage years are challenging for most children; for a child with ADHD, these years are doubly difficult. With all the problems of youth - pressure from classmates, fear of failure, both in school and in communication, low levels of self-esteem - a child with ADHD is more difficult to cope with. The desire to be independent, trying new and forbidden things - alcohol, drugs, sex - can lead to unforeseen consequences. The rules of conduct hitherto largely followed have now been abandoned. Parents may disagree with each other about how to deal with a teenager's behavior.
Now – more than ever – these rules should be clear and easy to understand. Communication between teens and parents can help the teen understand the reasons behind each rule. When a rule is set, it should be clear why it is set. Sometimes it is useful to have a table - usually hung in the kitchen - that lists both all the rules of behavior at home and all the rules of behavior outside the home (in society and at school). Another table might contain a list of chores with space left to mark the completion.
When rules are broken - and they will be - respond to such inappropriate behavior as calmly and calmly as possible. Use punishment sparingly. "Time-outs" work even with teenagers. Impulsivity and a hot temper often accompany ADHD. A short time alone can really help.
Because teens spend a lot of time away from home, over time there may be demands to be allowed to come back later and rent a car. Listen to your child's requests, explain your point of view on these issues and listen carefully to their opinion, and try to negotiate. Communication, negotiation and compromise should be helpful .
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a widely recognized childhood disorder affecting approximately 3-5% of children. What is less well known is that many children with ADHD are more likely to have it as they grow up. Several studies have been conducted in recent years that have shown that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD continue to show symptoms into adulthood.
The first studies of adults who were not diagnosed with ADHD as children but had symptoms as adults were conducted in the late 1970s by Drs. Paul Wender, Frederick Reimherr, and David Wood. These symptomatic adults were retrospectively diagnosed with ADHD after the researchers interviewed their parents. Researchers have developed clinical criteria for diagnosing ADHD in adults that combine a past history of ADHD with current evidence of ADHD.
Adults with ADHD usually do not realize that they have this disorder - they often just feel that it is difficult for them to organize themselves, pay attention to work, and show up on time for an appointment. The daily responsibilities of waking up, getting dressed and getting ready for the day's work, the need to arrive on time at work, and remain productive at work can be a major challenge for adults with ADHD.
Diagnosis of ADHD in adults
Diagnosing adults with ADHD is not easy. In many cases, when a child is diagnosed with such a disorder, the parent may feel that he (or she) has the same symptoms as the child, and for the first time in his life begins to understand some of his features that have been causing him problems for many years. years - distraction, impulsiveness, restlessness. Other adults seek professional help for depression and anxiety and find that the root cause of some emotional problems is ADHD. They may have a whole chain of school problems or work problems. Often they are involved in frequent car accidents.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, an adult patient must have childhood-onset, persistent, and current symptoms. An accurate diagnosis of ADHD in adults is of particular importance, and this diagnosis should be made by a clinician with experience in the field of attention disorders. An accurate diagnosis will require a history of the patient's behavior during childhood, as well as interviews with his life partners, parents, close friends and other people who are in close contact. An examination of his physical condition and psychological tests should also be carried out. This disorder may be accompanied by other disease states such as specific learning difficulties, anxiety, and affective disorders.
Adult ADHD treatment
Drug treatment. As with children, if adult patients are on medication for ADHD, they often start with stimulants. Antidepressants are considered as second-line drugs for the treatment of ADHD in adults.
When prescribing drugs to adult patients, special circumstances must be taken into account. Adult patients may need smaller doses of drugs per kilogram of body weight. Drugs may have a longer half-life in the adult body. Adult patients may also take other drugs for other medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus or hypertension. Often, adult patients may also take medication for anxiety or depression. All of these variables must be taken into account before the medication is prescribed.
Education and psychotherapy. Although drug treatment may bring the desired relief, a person can succeed on his own. In order to help him in his struggle, both "psycho-education" and individual psychotherapy can be helpful. A professional coach can help an adult ADHD patient to organize his life using "cheat sheets" - large calendars located wherever they can be seen in the morning, diaries, lists, memos, and special places reserved for keys, bills and documents in everyday life. Tasks can be divided into parts so that the end of each part can bring a feeling of satisfaction. Most importantly, adults with DM
The Great and Terrible ADHD. Myths and reality
"Hyperactive child" and that says it all?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are words that almost every parent already knows. This diagnosis is able to explain almost any behavior that is inconvenient for society. But is everything so simple? And is the percentage of children who really have ADHD so high? How to distinguish them from just active kids who are bored in the classroom in a banal way? Let's try to figure it out.
Attention deficit disorder does not mean a lack, a lack of attention in relation to the child. We are talking about the lack of attention of the child himself, about his own problems with concentration. Not vice versa. The word hyperactivity alludes to excessive activity that goes beyond the norm. And here it is immediately worth noting that ADHD is a medical diagnosis. Only specialists in a certain field have the right to put it: neuropsychologists, psychoneurologists, neuropathologists and psychiatrists. This area does not include psychologists from standard educational institutions. The maximum that a psychologist in a kindergarten or school can do is to assume the presence of a diagnosis and recommend contacting specialists of the required profile.
Today, almost all experts note the overdiagnosis of ADHD. This means that the majority of children whose parents/psychologists/teachers self-diagnose ADHD do not have such a diagnosis at all. And their behavior is largely due to the elementary unbearable demands of adults, tight schedules, overload, and the impact of traumatic situations.
So, the first conclusion: before labeling a child, you should take him to those who can really find grounds for making a diagnosis. The examination should include EEG, EchoEg, long-term observation of the child, Doppler examination of the vessels of the head and neck. Only after the specialist (and even better, if there are several of them) makes their verdict, you can think about a further strategy of action.
When should you think about ADHD?
The main signs by which it is usually possible to identify a suspicion of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are as follows: impulsive, chaotic nature of movements. Sudden mood swings, outbursts of anger. The child will clearly show signs of motor restlessness: he constantly fidgets, drums his fingers, cannot sit still. Being carried away by a new business, he is simply not able to bring it to the end. Even if the beginning was full of enthusiasm. Doesn't listen when spoken to. Inconsistent. Avoids mental effort. Has difficulty concentrating, cannot stand long pauses.
If most of the above signs appear before the age of seven, it can be assumed that the child is hyperactive.
It is very important to understand here: ADHD cannot appear suddenly. If yesterday your child showed himself in a completely different way, there is no constancy in his behavior, and much depends simply on conditions and mood, then we are talking about problems in a completely different area. Signs of ADHD, which are based on problems of physiological origin, can be seen as early as the age of three years. Increased muscle tone in infancy, constant sleep problems, extreme sensitivity, excessive mobility and excitability.
Already by the age of four, you can see that the child's concentration of attention is noticeably reduced, he is not able to focus on one type of activity, his movements are chaotic and impulsive. If we are talking about a child diagnosed with ADHD, then all of the above properties will increase gradually, and by the age of seven will become a solid component of your baby's characteristics.
The second conclusion to be drawn is that all symptoms must be permanent for a really long time. They should appear in any situation.
If the diagnosis is still confirmed
Children with ADHD often seem absolutely unbearable. They cannot behave normally in the lesson, they are not able to listen to the teacher's speech to the end. They constantly interrupt even when they are really interested in listening. They do not remember the time at all, do not follow the rules, get distracted, make noise, cannot control their emotions.
Very quickly, their behavior forces adults to tighten the educational process even more. Teachers complain and demand an increased level of discipline from the child. Parents are unhappy and only increase the pressure. As a result, all this can lead to is an increase in the child's symptoms, to which will be added a constant increased level of anxiety and a feeling of complete failure. They begin to scold the child where they really need help.
The problems of children with ADHD go much deeper than just the inability to maintain attention for a long amount of time. They can't help being distracted, they can't plan, they can't create an intention, a plan that will allow them to prepare for what comes next. All this is due to their physiology. These children have three areas of the brain that are less active than they should be. And it is these areas that are extremely important for self-control, the ability to stop in time, restrain yourself, plan your actions, set goals and systematically go towards them.
An important conclusion at number three is that the problems of a child with ADHD are, first of all, problems of the peculiarities of his physiology. His behavior cannot be subject to self-regulation. Almost any remarks, disciplinary measures and other "pedagogical" methods of influence are not only ineffective, but also harmful.
How can help be provided?
First, a clear daily routine. It is he who is the very first recommendation for such children. Thoughtful nutrition, sufficient time for sleep and rest, walks in the fresh air are very important here. Scheduled life has consistency, a sense of security, and predictability. This is exactly what will help the child to better understand the boundaries in the future and help him be able to stop. Here I really want to warn parents against an overly strict approach, which will resemble the barracks daily routine. Try to arrange the life of your child so that he does not experience the feeling of constant compulsion. Even the most strict schedule can be comfortable, taking into account not only the needs of the physical body, but also the desires of the child. Hang a beautiful timetable in several places in your apartment so that everyone remembers their plans exactly.
The second advice comes down to being attentive to the loads. Try not to overload the child, monitor his condition. All classes should end before the baby starts to get tired. It is very difficult for him to switch his attention, and therefore an excellent workout will be the alternation of calm and active activities.
A child with ADHD has a very hard time stopping himself. Self-control and will are hard for him, and therefore it will be very cool to warn him about the end of a particular process. Especially when it comes to an activity in which the child is completely and with interest immersed. Set a timer, remind 20-15-10-5 minutes in advance that the process is coming to an end. Thus, you can create the most smooth transition to the moment when he has to click on "stop". Ideally, if the timer also has sound.
I recommend a very funny and cute option: Mioshi Active Funny Cockerel interactive toy. With it, you can set a certain time after which the rooster will begin to crow. Or a classic clock with a timer that can be attached to the wall: a plastic wall clock with a timer. Very often, parents of ADHD children use a reward system, giving the child a nice bonus as a reward for the work done. This system can help with problems associated with reduced or almost absent motivation in a child. It is very convenient to buy ready-made sets. There are a great many of them now, with any characters and themes. Excellent, beautiful options: stickers for encouragement "Asterisks", encouraging stickers for home and kindergarten "My little pony", "Motivator. Poster with reusable stickers»
You should not overdo it with physical activity, assuming that the child will throw out excess energy, and then just go to bed calmly. Instead of a calm and tired child, you will get the same hyperactive, but now tortured baby. Overexertion will not go anywhere, just physical fatigue will be added to it. The best sports for children with ADHD are activities that offer a lot of freedom and a lot of fun. You should not forcibly drag a child to the karate section. Take him to a place where, in addition to physical activity, he will feel the pleasure of classes.
Remember, ADHD is not a death sentence. This is just a diagnosis that is given to your child only so that you can help him in time. We began to better understand the features of its interaction.
Children with ADHD have no desire to annoy everyone. Believe me, absolutely everyone wants their parents to be proud of them. It's just that the body with this diagnosis is designed in such a way that it requires a special approach. And if this approach is not there, then a person at the physical level cannot cope with this or that task.
No matter how much effort we spend, we cannot turn a hyperactive child into a balanced child with our demands and discontent alone. Just as we ourselves cannot become different people in a second: change temperament, turn from closed introverts into open, sociable people, stop being afraid “at a click” and simply change certain “settings” given to us by nature itself.
“It is necessary to strictly separate the actions of the child from his personality. Deeds and misdeeds can be condemned, a person is unconditionally accepted. The words of Ekaterina Murashova, which should be remembered by everyone. By the way, her book Mattress Kids and Disaster Kids can make it much easier to understand the most comfortable style of interaction with a hyperactive child.
Despite the fact that ADHD is a medical diagnosis, medication is recommended only in a number of cases. For the most part, the child only needs special interaction tactics, regimen tracking and behavioral therapy. Children with ADHD can do well in school. Moreover, they are often much more intelligent than their peers. These kids have great imaginations. And even their increased activity can be beneficial. It is important for the parents of these children to understand: for the most part, this phenomenon is not due to excessive activity of the nervous system, but, on the contrary, its lack. And it is this lack that makes them "turn off", get tired of intellectual loads too quickly.
Children with ADHD are also distinguished by forgetfulness. They often lose, forget not only small, but also large things. And for this moment, it is also worth preparing not only yourself, but also the child. It’s easier to immediately buy a large amount of stationery so that the child does not have any problems with this at school. Additional pens, notebooks, pencils should always be in his briefcase. It is hardly worth giving an additional briefcase with you, but buying another spare is quite possible.
To satisfy the sensory deficit, reduce the level of motor activity, it would be great to provide the child with various anti-stress toys for hands. Now there are a great many of them. Starting from spinners and ending with a whole series of incredibly pleasant to the touch toys made of ultra-soft materials. Some of the most popular sets are the Smooshy Mushy series and various M-M-Mushy hand toys made of very light polymer. In the collection of the latter, you can find very nice chocolates, fruits, figures of heroes for every taste.
Take them on the road, put them in your pocket, backpack, bag. In any situation where the child has to sit still for a long time, you will need to calm your hands, satisfy your "tactile hunger". Such toys are very good at helping to relieve anxiety, reduce the level of motor anxiety. There are a million benefits and pleasures from them.
Classes on special balancing discs and fitballs on an ongoing basis train the vestibular apparatus and stimulate the functions of the cerebellum responsible for balance. Taken together, such activities help to more easily analyze the incoming sensory information, that is, it will be much easier for the child not only to feel in space, but also to maintain concentration. Discs can be made of different materials, have an uneven needle coating on top, and be of different sizes. Ideal when you have several different pieces, for example: balance disc, balance platform, balance board. All of them provide excellent, high-quality work of the muscles of the body.
Gymnastic balls can be either with a smooth surface or with a massage needle surface.