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ADD/ADHD Understanding, Treatment, Strengths Part 1

Sometimes Nathan’s parents would say “This kid is driving me crazy”.  What they meant was that Nathan was often into everything. He was often running through the house, into everything, even jumping off the top bunk of his bed.  He squirmed, he fidgeted, and he never seemed content for very long.  At school, the teacher’s comments ranged from, “He can’t keep his hands to himself or his feet still”, to  “Nathan daydreams too much”.  At school he seemed bored or distracted rather than focusing on his class work.

Actual characteristics of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) include:

Inattention

  • Not attending to details
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Not listening well
  • Not following through on instruction
  • Difficulty organizing self with a task
  • Dislike for talk that sustains mental effort
  • Easily distracted when situation calls for focusing
  • Forgetful of what others expect from him

 

Hyperactivity

  • Fidgets
  • Often out of seat at school
  • Runs, moves, climbs excessively
  • Doesn’t play quietly
  • Talks excessively

 

Impulsivity

  • Blurts out responses
  • Difficulty waiting his turn
  • Interrupts others in conversation

There are not true tests to evaluate this condition, only instruments used to survey the child and other observations of that child.  When many of the above criterion are in evidence: parents, teachers, even caregivers seek answers as to how to help this child’s condition.

The truth; many of these children will need to work at how they deal with these symptoms throughout their lifetime.  How do children become this way?  The symptoms described may have always been around in a certain number of people.  Today with less emphasis on gross motor skills activity we may observe more symptoms than in the past.

The origins of ADD/ADHD may be many.  Often these children have at least one parent that preceded them with many of these characteristics.  Other sources of the development of impulsiveness, restlessness, or inattention like symptoms could include diet/nutritional changes in food, neurological immaturity, passive parent discipline, longer more structured school environments, disruption in child security due to divorce, death or loss of a family member, prolonged family illness, parent chaos, arguments, chaotic family lifestyles, television, hectic family lifestyle with little to no emphasis on quite time, too much emphasis on excitement and quantity of life rather than quality of life.

While the reasons for ADD/ADHD like symptoms are many and varied, careful evaluation of any and all influences must be made to determine why a child may be demonstrating his/her difficulties.  Medicine can help children focus by slowing down the thinking process.  Medicine may not always be best for the child, depending upon the reason for the development of these issues.  Alternatives to medicine do exist and treatments can help children regulate with healthy interpersonal responses from parents and teachers.  The emphasis should always be on helping your child succeed with the least intervention possible.  Children with ADD/ADHD often are at risk for self-worth problems.  Help your child find ways to feel successful beyond symptoms of problems they may present.

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