How to recognize symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children?

By: - 21st March 2019
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For parents, children are the greatest treasure. However, there are situations in which parents need to commit their time and effort to handle certain health complications the children may have. Especially when it comes to mental conditions, parents need to be well informed and also fully dedicated. Through this article, what we hope to discuss is about the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which is considered as a mental condition of children. This condition can affect young children, teenagers between 12-19, and even adults. Children with this condition are hyperactive and find it difficult to control impulses. This can have a major impact on their lives. It is more common among boys than in girls. The condition occur more often in boys than in girls and the reason for it is the inactivity or the dysfunctionality of the neurotransmitters (chemical substances that transmit nerve impulse) called Dopamine and Norepinephrine.

Symptoms of this condition

The symptoms of this condition can be listed under 3 categories.

    Inattention
  • Panics easily
  • Difficulty in engaging in the same activity continuously
  • Appears not to listen
  • Mistakes caused by not paying attention and carelessness
  • Forgets everyday tasks
  • Problems in organizing daily tasks
  • Loses and misplaces personal belongings
  • Dislike in activities that requires being seated
    Hyperactivity
  • Constantly on the go. Always ready to pounce, run, and play.
  • Twisting the feet together, tapping the feet, rapid movement of hands, and constant tapping of the fingers when standing or sitting in one position.
    Impulsivity
  • Constant fighting
  • Difficulty in controlling mental states such as sadness and anger
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Inability to play sports or study as a team
  • Unnecessarily loud in the classroom
Causes of this condition.

Although there aren’t definitive cause of this condition, research has found the below mentioned factor to be closely related.

  1. Genetics
  2. An imbalance in the chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses in the brain (Dopamine and Norepinephrine)
  3. Low functionality in the part of the brain that controls attention
  4. Nutritional deficiencies, infections, smoking, drinking alcohol, and developing an addiction to eat certain things during pregnancy (Pica) can affect the development of the child’s brain
  5. Toxins can affect the development of the child’s brain
  6. Certain brain injuries and disease can damage the Prefrontal Cortex in the front of the brain making it difficult to control impulses and emotions
If your child shows these behaviours,

It is very important to remember to inform this to all people who will be engaging with the child. Children with this condition cannot sleep throughout the night and you will have to train the child to sleep. Treatments are required for the complications in communication as the treatments are especially designed to help them with their daily lives and to connect with their environment. Training to face certain situations, using visual programmes to assist with understanding verbal instructions, training on daily activities and how to behave during them are things that you can help your child with. If a child shows the symptoms of ADHD, immediately seek advice of a pediatrician who can guide you with the treatments that are necessary.

Prepared in consulation with Dr. Nirmalee Ekanayake of Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital.

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