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Hyperactivity in Children: Symptoms and Treatment

AdvertisementLots of kids are very active. But when it’s time to stop and settle down, they typically manage to put a stop. They might kick a ball around one minute and sit quietly with a toy five minutes later.

But some kids just can’t keep still. They’re forever fidgeting, grabbing things, talking, or running even after they’re told to stop. They’re more than just active. Experts would describe them as hyperactive or with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect your child’s success at home, school, as well as their relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary and are sometimes difficult to recognise.

Some common symptoms of ADHD in children are: regular outbursts of anger at inappropriate times (Younger children may have temper tantrums), often can’t sit still – they may try to get up and run around, fidget, or squirm in their chair when forced to sit. Also they are known to have trouble waiting their turn during classroom activities or when playing games with other children, interrupt others while they’re talking or butt into conversations or games they’re not part of, problems playing quietly, have so many unfinished tasks, lack focus, avoid activities that require a sustained mental effort, such as paying attention in class or doing homework.

Others include, having trouble following instructions that require planning or executing a plan which can lead to careless mistakes. But experts say this doesn’t indicate laziness or a lack of intelligence even as they have trouble getting organised; they’re fond of day dreaming and being forgetful.
If a child is discovered to have experiences in 3 or more of these symptoms, it means the child has ADHD or hyperactivity.
Effective treatment for a child’s ADHD often includes several approaches. These can include medication and one or more types of therapy, as well as behavioural measures that you can put into practice as a parent. Getting proper treatment can help your child manage their ADHD symptoms and feel better about themselves.
There are quite a number of medications for treatment of ADHD, but just like every other medications, this too may have their side effects. Most experts would rather recommend psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, a child may be able to explore their behavioural patterns and learn how to make good choices in the future.
Here are few rules to follow:

Behaviour therapy
The goal of behaviour therapy (BT) is to teach a child how to monitor their behaviours and then change those behaviours appropriately. You and your child, and perhaps the child’s teacher, will work together. You’ll develop strategies for how your child behaves in response to certain situations. These strategies often involve some sort of direct feedback to help the child learn suitable behaviours. For instance, a token reward system could be devised to support positive behaviours.

Social skills training
Social skills training can sometimes be useful if a child shows serious issues dealing with social environments. As with BT, the goal of social skills training is to teach the child new and more appropriate behaviours. This helps a child with ADHD play and work well with others. A therapist may try to teach behaviours such as: waiting their turn, sharing toys, asking for help, and dealing with teasing.

Support groups
Support groups are great for helping parents of children with ADHD connect with others who may share similar experiences and concerns. Support groups typically meet regularly to allow relationships and support networks to be built. Knowing you’re not alone in dealing with ADHD can be a huge relief for many parents.
Support groups can also be a great resource for ideas and strategies for coping with your child’s ADHD, especially if your child was recently diagnosed. You could find support groups online and offline.

Hyperactivity isn’t a cause for alarm. If well managed at a tender age, the society would be a better place in the nearest future.

By Victoria Haruna

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