Sunday 29 July 2012

Children with ADHD, LD & their parents

Life can be tough, taxing & stressful if you have a kid with ADHD & learning difficulty. The children with this problem also face a lot of difficulty as they struggle at school & find it difficult adjusting themselves to the complexities & demands of life.
Let us first understand what ADHD really means. So many things have been written about & discussed about this problem. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in children can cause lot of emotional problems in parents. There is no clarity on what causes ADHD. It is definitely not the result of laziness of parents, poor parenting or poor teaching. Hence there is no point in parents blaming each other or rather specifically the mother being blamed for not being patient, attentive & caring towards the child’s need. Lack of motivation and discipline or too much television or too much time spent on fast paced video or computer games are also not reasons for ADHD, though these factors may certainly worsen ADHD symptoms.
ADHD coupled with LD (Learning Disorder not learning disability anymore) can disrupt schooling life for children. Every day becomes a hurdle which they struggle to overcome. School life can be stressful due to inability to perform & non acceptance by peers.
Parents also undergo severe stress due to the same reasons. These children are very difficult to handle as they have high energy levels, are adamant & are capable of manipulating people according to their whims & fancies.
If your child is hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive, it takes a lot of energy to tackle them. The constant monitoring can be frustrating and exhausting. Therefore parents should first learn to accept the fact about their child, & adjust accordingly, even if it involves sacrificing their personal goals & careers.
When it comes to behavior management, as a parent, one should be stern enough to say a “NO” whenever required. If the child realizes that you are likely to breakdown or give in to his demands, they gain an upper hand & try to use it to their advantage.
Some children with ADHD are hyperactive, while others are quiet—with their attention miles away. Some focus too much on a task and have trouble shifting it to a different task. Others are only mildly inattentive, but overly impulsive. Children with ADHD who are inattentive, but not overly active, may appear to be spacey and unmotivated. These children are often able to concentrate on activities they enjoy. But no matter how hard they try, they have trouble maintaining focus when the task at hand is boring or repetitive.
Parents should try to identify the child’s interest & nurture it accordingly. Extra care should be taken in designing activities for these children so as not to make it too long & boring.
These children try their best to be good, but still be unable to sit still, stay quiet, or pay attention. They may appear disobedient, but that definitely does not imply they are doing it purposely.
These children with impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD also tend to be moody and to overreact emotionally. As a result, others may start to view the child as disrespectful & weird.
Patience is the key virtue here. However, it is easier said than done.
When a child becomes aggressive & has temper tantrums, parents should not react or try to control the child. The rage lasts for 10-15 minutes & will subside by itself.
Adjustments in life should to be made according to these children’s needs. Food habits need to be modified. Chocolates, fast food & sweets need to be avoided. Life should be patterned & followed with a set of rules as these children cannot accept changes. These patterns should be maintained as closely as possible to bring about positive results. It is necessary that the school also helps these children in overcoming their problems, assisting & encouraging them in their academics.
Remedial therapy for LD is necessary to boost self-confidence in these children; Occupational therapy helps in improving the attention & motor skills. Behavioral therapy aids in controlling the mood swings & temper tantrums.
Lastly ADHD often continues into adulthood, so don’t wait for your child to outgrow the problem. Treatment can help your child learn to manage and minimize the symptoms. Help these children & as parents one should aim in educating the society in understanding these children & helping them.

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