What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? What should be done?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually characterized by difficulties with attention, decreased impulse control, and hyperactivity. It occurs in 3% to 12% of school-age children. Current research shows that…

ADHD is also associated with deficits in many cognitive domains, such as working memory, executive functions, psychomotor speed and coordination, processing speed, and intelligence.

Psychological, neuropsychological or behavioral characteristics should be determined when diagnosing ADHD. In this process; direct observation, structured parent or teacher interviews, behavior rating scales, cognitive profiles, and the WISC4 intelligence scale each provide valuable information. The use of intelligence tests is important, especially in terms of measuring cognitive functions that involve attention, such as working memory and processing speed. In order for the diagnosis of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder to be made, the symptoms must have started before the age of 7, be seen in more than one environment, be continuous, and be at a level that negatively affects the daily life of the person.

SUB-TYPES OF ADHD;

MIXED TYPE

TYPE OF ATTENTION DISORDER

TYPE OF HYPERACTIVITY

ATTENTION DEFICIT DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA:

Does not pay attention to details, always makes mistakes,

Has trouble maintaining attention

It seems unheard,

Has difficulty following given commands,

Has organizational problems

Avoids or dislikes tasks that require intense thinking

loses his belongings

Easily distracted,

Forgets daily chores

DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA OF HYPERACTIVITY AND Impulsivity:

It cannot stand still; hands and feet wiggling,

Has trouble sitting for a long time,

Constantly running or climbing

Has trouble keeping quiet about something

It is in constant and extreme mobility,

He talks a lot

The other person answers the question immediately without finishing it,

Has trouble with tasks that require waiting or taking turns,

interrupts others

Each subtype shows a different profile. It is important to evaluate the child well and to follow the appropriate treatment method. Because ADHD is a neuropsychological problem associated with many cognitive domains, it requires more attention and effort when assessing this disorder.

Other disorders most commonly associated with ADHD; specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia), conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. Not every child with ADHD has other diagnoses as well. Only these diagnoses are often seen together with ADHD. Seeing it together as a comorbidity increases the problem. For example; When ADHD and specific learning difficulties are seen together, they often negatively affect school success. When conduct disorder and ADHD are seen together, it may become impossible to control the child.

There is a lot of incomplete and wrong information about ADHD in our society. For example; A boy becomes naughty, spoiled, grumpy, stubborn to us, loves to get mad, does not give himself to the lessons, is reluctant, does not listen to anyone, and such comments can be made that are far from real diagnoses and symptoms. When information is incomplete and inaccurate, intervention methods are generally inconclusive and sometimes even have a negative effect. Punishing, excluding, blaming, ignoring, or glorifying the symptoms for such behavior harms children more. For this reason, it is vital for parents and educators to learn more about ADHD in terms of early diagnosis and treatment.

ADHD TREATMENT

The most important step in treatment is that parents and teachers have the right information about ADHD and can work in collaboration with each other. The better the problem is understood, the better it can be tackled. Blaming each other and finding dysfunctional solutions both hinder treatment and harm the child more.

One of the most effective methods in ADHD is drug therapy. Although many families do not approach the use of drugs because they do not trust drugs, drug use is a great necessity in an organic disorder such as ADHD. Especially, new generation Stimulant drugs are preferred more because they are not addictive, have less side effects and are safe. Medicines; It increases the attention span and ability to direct attention in the child, controls hyperactivity and impulsivity, strengthens learning and memory, and increases motor skills.

Of course, drugs alone are not enough. Cognitive support studies are also required to improve attention and direct attention simultaneously with drugs. In addition, it is important for children with ADHD to get expert help to develop social skills that are damaged due to impulsivity, strengthen peer relationships, support skills such as regulating emotions, expressing emotions correctly and organizing daily activities.

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