What is ADHD?
How common is it?
ADHD may run in families and is noticed more often in boys than in girls.
ADHD is divided into three groups:
Criteria for Diagnosis-
Nowadays because of increased awareness among parents and teachers about the symptoms of ADHD, children may either be incorrectly labelled with ADHD (over diagnosis) or may remain undiagnosed because of the social pressure. The need of the hour is to recognise this behavioural problem early to help the child’s mental growth in the right direction.
According to The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) the diagnosis should be based on very specific symptoms, which must be present in more than one setting.
To simplify this, few important points are
In older children, ADHD is in partial remission when they still have symptoms but no longer meet the full definition of the disorder.
Method of Evaluation-
Parents and teacher should keep a watch on the changing behaviour. Once ADHD is suspected the child should have a complete evaluation by a doctor. Evaluation may include:
Role of parents and teachers-
Educate your self- read about ADHD, needs of the child, behavioural risks.
Help the child get organized- follow same routine every day, keep all things in place
Enforce discipline regularly- daily home work.
Teach manners- like method of eating, importance of hand wash
Develop social responsibility- teach them to make friends, to help others
Offer incentives- child with ADHD receive criticism, praising or giving incentives gives a moral boost to them.
Share a relaxing technique- listen to music, yoga etc
Help the child to eat right- eating small and frequent meals, avoid unhealthy foods
Have a good sense of humour
Empathize with your child
Stay healthy and take time for yourself
Continuous supervision may be required
Although there is no proven way to prevent ADHD, but a holistic approach (early identification and treatment ) can prevent many problems associated with ADHD.
Fifteen % of school-age boys have received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis, the data showed; the rate for girls was 7 %.
Diagnoses among those of high-school age — 14 to 17 — were particularly high, 10 % for girls and 19 % for boys. About one in 10 high-school boys currently takes A.D.H.D. medication, the data showed.
Rates by state are less precise but vary widely. Southern states, like Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee, showed about 23 % of school-age boys receiving an A.D.H.D. diagnosis. The rates in Colorado and Nevada were less than 10 %.
The medications — primarily Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and Vyvanse — often afford those with severe A.D.H.D. the concentration and impulse control to lead relatively normal lives. Because the pills can vastly improve focus and drive among those with perhaps only traces of the disorder, an A.D.H.D. diagnosis has become a popular shortcut to better grades, some experts said, with many students unaware of or disregarding the medication’s health risks.
“There’s no way that one in five high-school boys has A.D.H.D.,” said James Swanson, a professor of psychiatry at Florida International University and one of the primary A.D.H.D. researchers in the last 20 years.
“If we start treating children who do not have the disorder with stimulants, a certain %age are going to have problems that are predictable — some of them are going to end up with abuse and dependence. And with all those pills around, how much of that actually goes to friends? Some studies have said it’s about 30 %.”
An A.D.H.D. diagnosis often results in a family’s paying for a child’s repeated visits to doctors for assessments or prescription renewals. Taxpayers assume this cost for children covered by Medicaid, who, according to the C.D.C. data, have among the highest rates of A.D.H.D. diagnoses: 14 % for school-age children, about one-third higher than the rest of the population.
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