What are the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome?
Created by Dr Himani Khanna Updated on Jun 21, 2016
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour and other symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms sometimes lessen with age. In ADHD early diagnosis and treatment make a big difference in outcome. Usually, treatments in these conditions involve medications and behavioural interventions.
Dr Himani Khanna, Developmental Paediatrician at Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, shares with us some of the symptoms of ADHD. Dr Khanna reinforces the fact that ADHD is not a disability but it is a different ability. Let us find out.
What are the signs of ADHD?
Data suggests that about 9 percent of school aged children are affected with ADHD. In this condition, the child will have inattention, poor impulse control, decreased self inhibitory capacity, motor / physical over activity and restlessness.
If the child consistently displays the following characteristics over a long period of time then consider this as a red flag:
Distracted very easily
Difficulty concentrating on tasks for a reasonable length of time
Difficulty paying attention to detail (often makes careless mistakes)
Problems following instructions and completing activities
Difficulty keeping track of personal belongings and materials
Struggles to remember routines and organise task/activities
Difficulty getting started on activities, particularly those that are challenging
Does not seem to be listening when spoken to directly
Often fidgets, squirms and turns around in seat constantly
Constantly on the go
Makes a lot of noise even during play
Talks incessantly when not supposed to talk
Blurts out answers before hearing the whole question
Becomes easily frustrated waiting in line or when asked to take turns
Leaves seat when expected to stay in seat
Runs or climbs excessively when it is not appropriate.
The difference between ADHD and super active child.
A child showing ADHD symptoms should be assessed by a Developmental Pediatrician, who can then tell you the difference between the two. There are several tools , questionnaires and criteria available with an expert in the field to diagnose ADHD .
Few consequences of being ADHD
ADHD can lead to academic under-achievement , problems with interpersonal relationship with family members and peer and children afflicted with ADHD may end up with low self esteem.
Initiation of behavioural therapy
Early diagnosis will lead to early initiation of behavioural therapy. For preschool-age children (4–5 years of age) behavioural therapy is the main course of treatment. For elementary school–age children (6–11 years of age) and for adolescents (12–18 years of age) ADHD can be managed by a combination of medication and behaviour therapy both.
Parents play an important role in dealing with ADHD.
Parents need to act like an executive planner and organiser for the child.
Parents have to consciously make an effort to be compassionate and patient
Parents need to keep up with their own health by eating right, adequate sleep and exercise everyday to keep stress at a bay. Only a healthy parent will be able to help their child deal with the symptoms of ADHD.
Parents need to create and sustain a structure at home like having simple and predictable rules for homework, bed, and play time. Also parents can use clocks, timers etc to notify the child to switch to the next task.
Parents can set clear rules and consequences. They can write down the rules and hang them in a place visible to the child, explain to the child the consequences of not obeying the rules and refrain from criticising and give appropriate feedback for negative result and praise often as it helps in positive reinforcement.
Parents can encourage sports and sleep: choose a sport that requires constant motion like football, basketball etc. On the other hand, slower and contained activities like yoga and martial arts can help improve mental control.
Parents need to monitor the child’s meals: regular meals with fresh fruits are important while keeping junk food at bay.
Having a pet can work wonders. It teaches children to be more responsible and outgoing.
Parents can help their children in improving their social skills and interactions. They can role play where they can teach children not to encourage or tolerate gestures like hitting, pushing, or yelling while playing. Also, they can reward the child with praises for good and desired behaviour.
| Jul 02, 2018
hello Dr himani my son is 6yrs 3months. he suffering ADHD. HOW increase his concentration. he was hit me even when he playing with kids also hit them. what to do? Anuradha gill thanx
| Jun 29, 2018
Hello Dr plesesuggest me myson he is 9years oldhe also has ADHDproblem what to do.
| May 20, 2017
can u please suggest me the best speech pathologist in warangal , khammam dist, telangana state
| Mar 16, 2017
I would like to ask speech pathologist.. is d speaking problem be cured with therapy
| Dec 24, 2016
Thank you Dr Himani Khanna, for a detailed information on ADHD. Would request you to tell about some activities/games/dos n don't s in particular. My elder son is 11 yrs 6mths old n has same problem. He forgets to tell important Info given from school. I have advised him to write in his diary but to no avail.
| Oct 02, 2016
dr humani. please guide in detail. . it may help a lot.
| Jul 27, 2016
hi DR tk you for the note. My son (9 yrs) is undergoing this disorder. It would be good if you can advice on do's and dont's for parent s like us.
| Jul 16, 2016
Hello everyone ,I am a speech pathologist and would like to add that the child with ADHD should also be screened for the following as soon as possible. 1. Speech and hearing problems 2. Reading and writing difficulties (Learning disability) As early intervention is the key to improvment. You can ask your pediatrician to refer you to speech pathologist you find speech and language are not developing as they should have been.
| Jun 23, 2016
Thanks Dr. Khanna. My elder daughter is going through same situation. Couple of things we already started after consultation. I need advice on her behavior that she don't remember the notice's or info given in the class to be conveyed to parents. Study wise she is above average but don't recollect any such info. Its happening on regular basis. We told her to write it down in notebook but its not working. Any suggestions.
| Jun 22, 2016
Thank you Dr Himani for such a detailed information on one of the most common behaviourial issues in children.