Noting that the incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is increasing, especially in preschool and elementary school children, experts say a cure is possible with early diagnosis and prompt treatment. .
The causes of ADHD, which is defined as a health problem accompanied by cognitive and behavioral problems manifesting as attention deficit, mobility and excessive impulsivity, are not fully understood.
Researchers say the causes of ADHD are risks such as genetic traits, brain damage, foods and additives, and psychosocial factors. ADHD is especially common in elementary school. The incidence rate in children is 3-5% and it is higher in boys than in girls.
ADHD, difficult to diagnose in early childhood, can lead to academic, social and psychological problems if not detected and treated early. Children with ADHD may have poor academic performance as well as problems adjusting to school.
Explaining to Anadolu Agency (AA) how ADHD manifests in children, clinical psychologist specialist Filiz Çoban said hyperactivity could be present if the child exhibits constant movement of hands and feet, inability to sitting, urge to climb or run, uninterrupted movement, talking too much, impulsiveness, inability to line up and answer before the question is over.
She said it can also be diagnosed by behaviors such as inattentiveness, inability to pay attention to detail, inability to focus on tasks and roles, and avoidance of tasks that require attention. mental effort.
Çoban said an individual can have attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity disorder, or both attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorder.
Vital early diagnosis
Çoban said people with ADHD are very sensitive to external stimuli and often forget daily tasks.
“In order to address these issues that people with ADHD will encounter throughout their school lives, first, students with ADHD need to be identified in the early grades of elementary school,” Çoban said.
“After students are identified, their educational needs should be determined to determine how the ADHD diagnosis affects students, and related skills should be developed accordingly. In the early elementary school years, a diagnosis will ensure that students programs are foundation-based, and this will affect the skill development of individuals in a positive way and prevent educational problems that may arise at higher education levels,” she explained.
Noting that ADHD can be seen in different ways depending on the developmental characteristics of each age group, Çoban made some recommendations for parents of children with ADHD.
“Early precautions must be taken. Observe your child well. For this, play a lot of games in the preschool period. You must be patient and understanding. Because children with ADHD act very impulsively at home, parents sometimes use punishment or even violent behavior,” she said.
“It is not a problem with the character of the child. You must know that he or she suffers from it for biological reasons. Get information about your child and get tested. It is necessary to work in coordination with all support providers, such as doctors, teachers, parents, psychologists and special educators. Do not hesitate to ask for help from experts.”
Stating that the most appropriate way to observe children is to play games, Çoban listed games that can be played with children with ADHD.
“Hide a toy appropriate for their age and interests in the room and let your child find it by saying ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. Or you can ask your child to identify the object or animals desired in a picture. Ask them to recognize and identify the objects you put in their hand with their eyes closed,” she said.
For children who struggle to wait their turn, Çoban said, “You can play wrestling with their parents or siblings if there are any at home. Outside you can play games like hopscotch or dodgeball. By playing these games, you can extend or shorten the duration depending on the child’s age, interest and attention span. »
Çoban stressed that it is absolutely necessary to start treatment in children or adolescents with ADHD.
“If ADHD is left untreated, it can lead to serious problems such as the child dropping out of school in the future, inability to maintain friendships, a predisposition to substance use and smoking and to depression in adulthood. With prompt treatment, rapid effects and recovery are seen in people with ADHD.”
‘Lack of concentration’
Specialist psychologist Hayal Kesimel said that attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder fall under the category of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Noting that they can be seen in children and adolescents, sometimes simultaneously, Kesimel said: “People with attention deficit disorder don’t pay attention to details, make mistakes all the time, have trouble maintain their attention span, appear not to listen, have difficulty following orders, have organizational problems, avoid or dislike tasks that require intense thinking, lose possessions, are easily distracted, or forget daily tasks. “
Saying that the person with hyperactive-impulsive disorder often cannot sit still, Kesimel explained that: “The child’s hands and feet are restless; they often find it hard to sit still for a long time, to run or climbing, and are unable to sit still even when an adult. Child will be very active as if climbing a straight wall. Will talk a lot, give an answer before the other person finishes their question, has to difficulty doing tasks that require waiting and interrupting others.
Kesimel said symptoms from the two groups mentioned above can be seen together in people with both attention deficit and hyperactive-impulsive disorder.
“Difficult social relations”
The official diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is made by a child psychiatrist, those diagnosed receive support in psychotherapy, psychoeducation and specialized education, depending on the areas where they experience difficulties.
Kesimel said children often express difficult emotions through unwanted behaviors, and children diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder may have trouble maintaining social relationships.
“In the process of therapy, it is very important that the family correctly observes the emotional needs of the child, takes into account the methods applied in the company of experts and feedback. Early diagnosis is also useful for the deficit disorder of the child. attention and hyperactivity, as in all cases,” said Kesimel.
“In children who receive appropriate diagnostic therapy and early diagnosis, there can be drastic improvements in areas they struggle with. Functionality in daily life increases, social relationships can improve, and conflict resolution skills can improve.”