ATTENTION DEFICIT AND HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER IN CHILDREN

What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

ADHD is a disorder that manifests itself with excessive activity, inability to postpone requests and attention problems that are not suitable for the age and development level of the individual. It usually becomes evident in the pre-school and school age period. Children have problems in paying attention to a subject or controlling their behavior. by family or people around “naughty, unable to sit still, very active, pensive, forgetful, daydreaming etc.”Since such behaviors can be observed in almost every child from time to time, support from a specialist is absolutely necessary in order to make a diagnosis.

FEATURES

1-If hyperactivity/hyperactivity/impulsivity is at the forefront:These children are more active than their peers. These behaviors cause problems in daily activities such as play, kindergarten, school. Children with hyperactivity are usually unable to sit still, cannot sit when they should, talk excessively, have difficulty in waiting their turn, are always busy with something, and often They are children who interrupt others, interfere with conversations.

2-If Attention Deficit is at the forefront:These children have difficulty concentrating on a point, they are easily distracted, they cannot follow the instructions from the beginning to the end, they lose the materials needed for the work and activities they will do at home or school and they do not listen.

3- If Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is at the forefront:Features of both attention deficit and hyperactivity and impulsivity are observed.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms in toddlers and preschoolers

In general, hyperactive children in this age group are children who are constantly running, never walking, ready to go at any time, sliding from one activity to another. They have difficulty sitting silently for long periods of time. Children are very active but prone to accidents due to poor coordination and clumsiness.

Symptoms in primary school children:

These children often attract the attention of others by being distracted from the classroom due to discomfort and restlessness, being unable to sit still for long periods of time, walking around, or engaging in inappropriate activities.

Symptoms in adolescence:

In this period, hyperactivity shifts from large muscle movements to small muscle movements. Examples of this can be given as shaking the leg or constantly changing positions in the chair. Impulsivity manifests itself in adolescents with situations such as drifting into more problems, which are problems for him and his family, and increased danger. Lack of attention, in completing tasks failure, short attention spans for activities, and they constantly change their activities. Of course, school failure of an adolescent whose attention problem continues is inevitable.

DEVELOPMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD

Behavioral Symptoms

There are reports showing that these children are unusually active in the womb before they are born. They are babies who cry a lot and have very disturbed sleep patterns when they are born.

  • They are extremely active. They cannot sit for a long time, they constantly move their hands and feet.
  • They may physically endanger themselves without considering the consequences (like dashing into the street without checking)
  • They constantly talk, shout, cannot prevent their requests.
  • They mess everything up.
  • They hover on furniture or shelves and are in a constant hustle and bustle.
  • They often show aggressive behaviors such as hitting and pushing towards others.
  • Adolescents often talk about feelings that bother them.
  • They have difficulty making decisions on their own.
  • They leave the job they started unfinished and move from one activity to another.

Social Symptoms

  • Their friendship relations are weak. Even if they make friends, they cannot maintain their friendship because they behave inappropriately.
  • They show social maladjustment because they have difficulty in following directions and rules.
  • Their skills may not develop because they have difficulty participating in social activities.

Cognitive Symptoms:

  • They are easily distracted. Therefore, they have difficulty in finishing the work they have started. The behavior of avoiding the work that requires constant attention is observed.
  • They are often forgetful. They may forget their belongings, feeding times, and notes their teacher gave to their parents.
  • His studies are irregular and unplanned. Therefore, a decrease in school success can be observed.
  • They are more likely to be harmed because they cannot evaluate the consequences of their behavior.

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Moods are changeable and depression may develop as a result.
  • They can quickly get excited and angry.
  • Their self-confidence is low. Social exclusion and parental attitudes play an important role.

Physical Symptoms

  • Sleep times are short and irregular.
  • Motor coordination may be poor.
  • Bone growth may be retarded.
  • Urinary incontinence may occur.
  • Their height and weight may be below their peers.
  • There may be inadequacy in jobs that require manual dexterity. Examples include buttoning up, tying shoes, using cutlery, painting, writing.

In order to talk about ADHD in a child, teenager or adult, the above symptoms should appear before the age of seven, exhibit most of the behaviors for at least 6 months, and affect their daily life negatively. It is absolutely necessary to consult a specialist in order to differentiate ADHD.

Advice to Parents

Timely recognition of ADHD and initiation of therapy has an important role in terms of mental health and reintegration of individuals with the problem into society.

Efforts should be made to report the emerging behavioral problems to the expert as soon as possible and to take action in line with the expert’s recommendations.

Care should be taken to ensure that the place where the child lives is safe. Since they are children who cannot evaluate the end of their behavior, the child should be checked at regular intervals while playing.

The child should be supported by the parents regarding their expectations and plans.

The rules should be appropriate for the age and development of the child and should be written and posted.

When instructing children, it is important to make eye contact and speak calmly to get their attention. Giving instructions by shouting causes the child to focus only on loudness.

It should be focused on the positive characteristics of the child, not on the negatives and failures of the child. It should not be forgotten that a critical approach will damage the child’s self-confidence.

Because these children make mistakes so often, punishments (such as canceling a prize, allowing him to endure the loss of a lost item for a while) may be inevitable for parents as a last resort. However, it should be noted that punishments are always used in conjunction with rewards. Every positive behavior exhibited by the child should be reinforced with a reward. It should not be forgotten that these rewards must be meaningful and powerful rewards for the child.

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