Pay attention to attention deficit disorder in kids

Aditya (name changed) was restless since pre-school; no task or activity ever held his interest for over a few minutes and he would often dart off without warning, seemingly unaware of dangers on a busy road or a crowded mall.

His mother was not concerned at that time. However, at 10 years of age, Aditya was as fidgety as a toddler and it became a struggle to get him to settle down for a simple task. His teacher also commented about his lack of attention and disruptive behaviour in class.

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Tired of finding no solution to her son’s hyper-active behaviour, Aditya’s mother told her friend who advised a psychiatrist consultation. The kid’s mother was wary of the suggestion at first, but after she came across many articles on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on the internet, she consulted a psychiatrist. Today Aditya is coming back to normal and is doing well in studies and other activities.

According to psychiatrists in the city, many parents are now coming out in the open about ADHD cases. “There is no drastic change in number of the children suffering from ADHD, but consultations have increased. More and more people from all economic strata are visiting psychiatrists,” said Alka Pawar, director of Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health (MIMH).

“Earlier, visiting psychiatrists was considered a taboo, but now, people are more comfortable and open to treatment of this disorder,” said Nilesh Naphade, psychiatrist at Bharti Hospital. Sharing more about ADHD, Natasha D’cruz, another psychologist, said, “I believe that teachers and parents are being made more aware of its symptoms and features and, with adequate training, are in a better position to identify children who may fall in the spectrum.”

According to psychiatrists, there was no medicine available for the treatment. However, now, with medicines and consultation sessions for children by parents is getting good results. Naphade said, “Along with medicines, we consult the child and person suffering from ADHD and also counsel their mentors or parents. This gives them an idea on how to deal with it.”

How it occurs
“ADHD is caused by chemical imbalance and changes. Many people connect it to social and other natural aspects. There are also chances of genetics playing a role,” said Swapnil Deshmukh, a psychiatrist. Sharing little possibility of the social aspect in ADHD, D’cruz said, “If a child has a predisposition to ADHD, then a lack of structure or parenting can probably aggravate ADHD symptoms.”

Talking about the parents’ attitude towards the disorder, Alka Pawar added, “There is always a hesitation in parents to approaching psychiatrists for consultation. Though more and more people are coming to get help from doctors, there are many people from the mid-socio economic strata who hesitate to go to psychiatrists or psychologists. They should come forward and get proper treatment for their child.”

Signs of ADHD in children 
>> Hyperactive 
>> Constantly talking 
>> Interrupting people
>> Unable to concentrate
>> Inattentive 
>> Finds it hard to wait his/her turn in play 

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