A lot of parents approach me with the problem that their kids are hyperactive and it becomes very draining for them to keep them engaged. Often times it is a simple case of children not having options to expend their energy and a wellness lifestyle change plan works for them. Sometimes, it is something else and has to be dealt differently.
In technical terms it is referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often referred to as ADD or ADHD. ADHD is generally diagnosed in children by the time they’re teenagers, with the average age for moderate ADHD diagnosis being 7 years old.
The condition was first described by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman, a physician, psychiatrist and poet. He wrote a book "The Story of Fidgety Philip" which had an accurate description of a little boy who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In 1902, Sir George F.Still published a series of lectures to the Royal College of Physicians in England describing a group of impulsive children with significant behavioural problems, caused by a genetic dysfunction and not by poor child rearing—children who today would be easily recognized as having ADHD.
The principal characteristics of ADHD are
Problem waiting their turn
Leaving tasks unfinished
Making frequent mistakes
Trouble getting organised
These symptoms appear early in a child's life. Since these symptoms are more or less associated with all children an expert is needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, often with the symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity preceding those of inattention, which may not emerge for a year or more.
The most substantiated causes for ADD/ADHD appear to fall in the realm of neurobiology and genetics. This is not to say that environmental factors may not influence the severity of the disorder, and especially the degree of impairment and suffering the child may experience, but that such factors do not seem to give rise to the condition by themselves.
Management of children or teenagers with ADD requires an accurate diagnosis followed up with a treatment plan which includes Dietary modifications, Sleep Management, Behavioural changes, medication management and follow ups.
The Dietary modifications include consuming a diet which promotes Brain health. Some salient features are a diet that is rich in proteins, omega fats and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates need to be restricted especially high sugar beverages and snacks. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is great.
Sleep is an essential component of management strategy. It is important to promote sleep hygiene in children and special emphasis needs to be paid in such conditions. A regular sleep pattern needs to be established. It is extremely important that children follow healthy sleeping habits.
The Behavioural management therapy can also begin at home by following the steps
· Create structure. Make a routine for your child and stick to it every day.
· Break tasks into manageable pieces rather than big tasks to be done at once.
· Simplify and organize your child's life.
· Limit distractions. Promote offline engagements and limit on screen time.
· Encourage exercise to tire then out physically and provide a constructive outlet for energy to expend.
· Regulate sleep patterns.
· Encourage out-loud thinking.
· Promote wait time.
Another line of treatment consists of medication management and routine community care. It is a patient task to treat children with this disorder but certainly possible. The medications that seem to be the most effective are a class of drugs known as stimulants. Behavioural therapy, emotional counselling, and practical support will help ADHD children cope with everyday problems and feel better about them.
It is possible to manage ADD which requires persistence and patience. We have special services keeping children in mind as well as a Better Sleep WhatsApp service to assist. Look up the services section www.dravantina.com/services to know more