Your child may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD
ADHD is usually identified after the child starts schooling.
How does having ADHD affect my child’s life?
ADHD affects various areas of your child’s life. This includes his academic performance and his social relationships. See the diagram below.
Why suspect ADHD ?
It is among the top most common mental health disorders in school aged children.
See the video clip below for more information.
Are all children with ADHD Hyperactive?
Not necessarily so. ADHD can present itself in 3 different ways (see pic below)
1) Inattentiveness (kurang fokus sahaja)
2) Hyperactivity-Impulsivity ( hiper & tidak berfikir sebelum bertindak-impulsif )
3) A Combination of Inattentiveness and Hyperactive-Impulsivity (kedua-duanya sekali)
Our last post on ADHD focused on number 1, Inattentiveness, this post is on number 2, the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity symptoms of ADHD.
To read the post on Inattentiveness, click on the image below.
What are the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity Symptoms of ADHD
(This post does not seek to blame anyone)
Unlike children with the Inattentive symptoms, those with the hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms are easier to identify.
Why is that so?
Children with the Inattentive presentation do not behave in a way that disrupts the classroom. They are more dreamy and pose problems usually for themselves unlike those with the hyperactivity-impulsivity presentation who are usually loud, interrupts conversations and overly active
How is ADHD diagnosed?
ADHD is usually diagnosed by a Child Psychiatrist or a Child Psychologist using the guide provided by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5)(see pic)
Let's Meet 10-Year-Old Adam who has ADHD and take a peek into what a day in his life is like.
Adam has the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity Presentation of ADHD
1. Adam’s day at school: Problems with the Teacher
Adam’s Science teacher finds it difficult to test her students knowledge on photosynthesis. This is because, before she can complete any question, Adam blurts out answers without thinking. This prevents the other students from getting a chance to answer the questions and his teacher to test their knowledge level. Adam is too impatient to wait for his turn.
During Art class, the students were divided into groups to complete an art project. Instead of remaining seated and working with his group, Adam walks around to the other groups interrupting and interfering in their work by giving unwanted suggestions.
His teacher is furious as Adam is not working on his project and furthermore is disrupting the other students progress.
He orders Adam to return to his seat. After a few minutes, Adam starts talking non-stop while the others are trying hard to concentrate on their work. When he is scolded by the teacher, he gets angry and defiant. He feels that he has done nothing wrong.
This causes Adam's teacher to send him to the Head of Discipline where he is held back in detention class for his behavior.
On top of that, the school also calls in Adam’s parents to discuss Adam’s disruptive behavior.
2. Adam’s day at home: Problems with Parents
Adam’s parents are already very sick and tired of Adam’s behavior. To make things worse, Adam’s father had to take time off work, yet again, to meet the teachers in school. His boss was losing his patience with him as he had been taking more and more time off work due to Adam.
As soon as they arrive home, Adam is punished yet again. He is not allowed to watch television and go out in the evening for his favorite activity-cycling.
Adam was made to finish his homework, without leaving his seat.
Adam found this very difficult. He became extremely restless and found it difficult to complete his work.
Adam tried to get away with not completing his homework by lying to his father that he had completed it. His father checked his book and was even more furious with Adam for lying.
Now, both his parents were angry and they said that he was a lazy trouble maker, a liar, and a disobedient child. They threatened to send him to live with relatives.
Adam is sad, he feels that his family do not care for him as they are always punishing him. He wonders why he is NOT ABLE to sit still and behave well like his other friends….
3. Adam and his Friendship AT SCHOOL:
Studies have shown that children who have the Hyperactive and Impulsive type of ADHD symptoms have problems in building and maintaining friendship.
Adam is hardly ever invited to join his friends for games. This is mainly due to his inability to wait for his turn. When his friends a slow to make a move in a game, he would taunt them by calling them names such as "tortoise" and yelling into their ears to hurry up.
Due to Adam’s impulsivity, he annoys his friends without thinking of the consequences. As a result of this, he has gradually lost many of his friends.
Stealing Money to Buy Friendship
Adam wanted to have friends so badly that he had once stole a wad of RM50 notes from his mum’s handbag. He did not keep any money for himself, but handed a few of his classmates RM50 each as gifts. A parent of one of the kids found out what had happened and reported this to the school.
Adam was punished yet again!! As time passes, Adam becomes an angry and defiant child as he feels confused and misunderstood with the years of badgering from all the adults around him. As a result his self esteem suffers.
Life becomes increasingly difficult for Adam and his family.
Could these problems have been avoided?
Yes, as ADHD can be treated. However early identification is crucial. The treatment goals for ADHD are to enable the child to:
control and regulate his emotions
start thinking before acting
build and maintain friendships
perform well academically
What happens if ADHD is left untreated?
Due to the difficulties in coping with day to day life, children with ADHD tend to become increasingly rebellious.
Studies have shown that children with untreated ADHD are at risk of being involved with bad company.
This can then lead to other problems that include: skipping school, drug and alcohol abuse, dropping out of school ,and not attaining a college degree.