Wednesday, September 25, 2013

So How Exactly Does Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Affect A Young Child

A Lifelong Diagnosis

The inability to pay attention even when you want to is hard. Looking for what you need and not finding it is frustrating. Constantly told to pay attention and look at the person talking to you is embarrassing. Being diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a life sentence.

A child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) suffers with this diagnosis every day. Every task he attempts to do, has to do or doesn't want to do is a struggle for the child, his family, teachers and classmates. The stress the child feels compounds the symptoms.

What Is ADHD

To understand what the child goes through on a daily basis, it is important to know what the diagnostic criteria is for ADHD.

She often fails to pay attention to details and makes careless mistakes on homework, school assignments and activities; has difficulty maintaining attention while playing or completing tasks; appears to not be listening when someone is talking to her; does not listen to, read completely or follow through on directions; suffers from not being able to be organized in tasks or activities; avoids or dislikes activities or tasks that require sustained mental effort; has a tendency to lose objects necessary for tasks and activities; is easily distracted by events, people, or noises around him; is forgetful and unable to complete everyday activities and tasks due to the forgetfulness; is often seen fidgeting with hands or feet and has difficulty sitting still in his seat; is often unable to remain seated in class or other situations where sitting is required; is often seen running about and climbing in situations where running and excessive climbing is inappropriate; finds quiet playing difficult, if not impossible; talks excessively; has difficulty waiting for questions to be asked before blurting out the answers; finds it difficult to wait his turn; and will interrupt others and intrude on others during speaking or activities.

A child's entire life is affected by this disorder. The child is unable to find solace in a quiet activity. The child is unable to calm himself when he's upset or hyperactive. The child encounters frustration from others.

How Medication Affects the Child

Medication can be beneficial for approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD. These are stimulants, but if given in the correct dosage and correct frequency, the patient doesn't face the possibility of stimulant abuse.

However, the child may suffer from side effects of the medication, including sleep difficulties, stomachaches, headaches, a reduction in appetite, drowsiness, irritability, nervousness and excessive staring.

In rare instances, a child may suffer from more severe side effects, such as developing nervous ticks, hallucinations and bizarre behavior.

In these cases, the child who has had difficulty with paying attention, being organized and functioning as his peers do is now unable to sleep at night, is drowsy during the day and often irritable. Children dealing with those side effects often ask their parents if they can stop taking their medication. In some cases, parents would rather deal with the ADHD instead of the side effects.

Another Person to Please

If a diagnosis hasn't come quickly enough and medication is not effective in their child, the parents have another option. They can look into community support services. This can be perceived by the child as a good thing or an embarrassing time in her life. A community support worker will assist the child in tasks in the home and in school. The community support person is the reminder, the organizer and the child's conscience. He will remind the child that there are only a few more minutes until she changes tasks in school. He will assist the child in completing homework and keeping her school supplies together. The community support worker will teach skills that the child may have missed learning due to the diagnosis.

The child may appreciate this worker assisting her, or may resent his presence. If the child is told that this is to help her and not to embarrass her, she may accept the worker as a blessing. If not, the child then has the embarrassment of the diagnosis, the medication and the worker.

A Full and Productive Life

A diagnosis of ADHD can be overwhelming for the child. However, if the child and the people in his life are prepared to deal with the diagnosis, the skills needing to be learned, the medication and the side effects of the medication, the child can live a full and productive life.

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