Children, most of the time, flit from one thing to another, both physically and mentally. They do not focus or concentrate on one thing or the other for a long period of time. This is a natural characteristic of children, and so parents generally tend to overlook it. But, if you find your kid not only lacking in attention but also failing to get any interest from anything that absorbs most other children, like games then it can mean that the kid is suffering from attention deficit disorder. Don’t leave it at that thinking that the child will get over this lack of interest in time. This is because, if left untreated, it can hamper the mental development of the child, and the disorder can also carry till adulthood. Children with this disorder perform badly at school, and also get moody. This makes it very difficult for them to have a normal childhood. For parents the difficulty is two-fold. On one hand, they have to contend with the tag of ‘disorder’ attached to their child, and on the other hand, they are generally at a loss on how to handle the situation. For parents it is quite difficult to comprehend that the lack of attention can be considered as a disorder, and that it can have far-reaching effects on the future life of the child. That is why parent's education is one of the main treatment options to manage attention deficit disorder in children.
Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Though the specific cause of attention deficit disorder are not known, there are some factors that can contribute to it.
- Various studies show that children with a family history of this disorder are more likely to inherit it.
- There is also a theory that this disorder can arise from a combination of various genes, which affect the dopamine transporter leading to ADD.
- Exposure to smoke and tobacco during pregnancy can also lead to this disorder.
- Even children who are born prematurely can also have this disorder. There is also an increased risk of developing ADD due to infections during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Another likely cause can be the imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which disrupts the communication channels in the brain.
- The most common symptom is the lack of close attention and so the child tends to make more careless mistakes. The attention span is very less.
- Even when spoken to directly the child doesn’t seem to listen.
- The child has difficulty in following instructions due to lack of concentration. As a result, the child cannot finish the chores and duties.
- The child has difficulty organizing his or her activities.
- The child also avoids tasks that require sustained mental effort. So, they tend to avoid schoolwork and other chores.
- The child always tends to lose things.
- The child tends to get easily distracted.
- The child also suffers from forgetfulness.
- Daydreaming is also another major symptom.
- The child easily gets confused and also moves very slowly.
- There is also a difficulty in processing information. Children with ADD fail to do it accurately and correctly.
- Medications can increase the attention span of the children and also control their impulsiveness. The main category of medicines commonly used to treat ADD is stimulants like Ritalin.
- Stimulants work fast but last for a short duration. So, the children should be given this medication multiple times for greater effect. However, these medications are relatively safe with few side effects.
- Specific diets are also very effective to control this disorder. Including omega-3 supplements in the diet can reduce some of the symptoms. Including vitamin and mineral supplements in the diet is also effective.
- Parent's training and education also benefits the children with this disorder.