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Is Your Child Suffering from ADD?

>> Jun 30, 2012


Are your kids very naughty and troublesome? Do they give you a lot of headache and are a real pain in the back? However hard you scream they just simply ignore your warnings and pleadings and leave you exhausted and worn out. Naughtiness can be quite common in children but at times they just cross the boundaries. At that point of time it is essential that you take the matter seriously and consult a specialist and check whether your kids are suffering from ADD or Attention Deficiency Disorder.

What is ADD?
Speaking broadly, ADD is a chronic disorder or a group of symptoms that affect the power of concentration, focus, mood and socializing skills. ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as it is more commonly known nowadays is quite common in children. About the 1-5% kids in the world suffer from ADD and in the US alone about 10% of kids are found to be having ADD. Generally boys are 3 times more susceptible to be having ADD than girls. It is one of the most common mental disorders in children and is generally observed in kids below 12.

How would you know if your kid has ADD?
·         Your kids suffer from a deficiency in attention which is the most common symptom of ADD.
·         He/she is too fidgety, squirms all the time and is very restless
·         Very forgetful in nature, misplaces things and cannot remember to pick them up or do their tasks
·         Being very fidgety they have difficulty remaining seated and so, avoid things that require some levels of concentration
·         Do not follow instructions and are easily distracted by sights and sounds. This results in making very careless mistakes
·         Suffers from excessive talking and interrupts and intrudes upon others. Always in the want of attention
·         Cannot wait for their turn to come
·         They have a tendency to daydream and keep themselves away from reality
·         They are totally disorganized and have a tendency to avoid the details that go into every action
·         Most of the times they jump from one task to another and so, their tasks remain half-finished
·         They have a tendency to throw tantrums and scream about
These are some of the general symptoms that are present in ADD affected kids. Having found out the symptoms, you may wonder how to treat this and find a cure for it.

How do you deal with children having ADD?
Before going into medication, there are some simple ways to treat your kids with ADD problems. Basically, have a talk with the teacher of your kids’ class and make them place your kids on the front benches. Also, try to maintain eye to eye contact with your kids and be very precise with the instructions that you give them. Repeat the instructions if necessary and be sure that they understand your instructions very well. Make sure that they do not face changes in their environments quite often as they cannot handle changes very well. Do not give them multiple instructions by just cramming them into your child’s brain – they will all be jumbled up. Be patient and calm with your kids (this can be very tough) and try to be creative in your approach.

Is medication necessary for treating ADD?
Medications may be required if only a psychiatrist refers it. Before that try to change the food pattern of your kid and see if it yields any results. Try to include more proteins in their diets which would help them concentrate better. Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, yoghurt etc can be natural cures for them. Studies on animals have shown that long chain omega-3 fatty acids can have a positive effect upon the brain and these can be found in salmon and walnuts.

In case of medication, the commonly prescribed drug Ritalin increases the secretion of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain. These are kind of stimulants that do not however cause stimulation in the kids but rather help to co-ordinate between the different areas of the brain better.  If administered in the correct dosage they would start working within 45 minutes. It has been found that about 80% of the kids with ADD have responded well to these stimulants. However, there are some side-effects like a decrease in appetite, problems in sleep, sudden involuntary movements, nervousness and mood alterations.

Having gone through a lot of information, it is clear that ADD can be cured with the active participation of parents and others. Parents need to play an active and patient role in helping their kids get into physical activities that increase the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. However ADD is not a disease but a common disorder and there is nothing to be much worried about.

Dr. Olivia Jane Allen is a senior researcher and has wide experience in cases involving about depression treatments, psychiatric services. She writes articles on various aspects of how modern life influences human behavior. Other than her professional field, she loves gardening and cooking. She is happily married with three children.

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