ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) caught my attention when a friend visited us one time and called our attention about one of our kids might have the possibility of having ADHD. Well, actually we have been told about it when the kids lived with my parents in the Philippines for 10 months while we were here in Thailand. In fact, I even wrote a post about it here more than a year ago.
“I don’t want to call it a disorder,” she began. It is not a disease or something to be dreaded about. It is just important that parents would be aware about the genetic makeup of their children, and do whatever they can with the help of experts so that they would be helped especially in living an organized lifestyle or finish what they start, or do something about their compulsive behavior or control their temper.
Although it has yet to be confirmed, I have to admit that at first it freaked me out. I mean, what parent would not , right? All these findings about disorders in children sound scary. So I did a little research about ADHD, its causes, its cures, and what I can do as a parent if indeed my child is confirmed to have ADHD.
To begin with, approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age are said to be diagnosed with ADHD as of 2007. Boys are more likely to have it (13.2%) as supposed to girls (5.6%).
What Causes It?
ADHD runs in families, studies show. There has been studies done among adopted children who are diagnosed to have ADHD, and their upbringing has nothing to do with their behaviors. It could be traced back to their original families. Identical and fraternal twins have also been subject to studies– identical twins could both have ADHD since they have the exact same genetic makeup. Fraternal twins, on the other hand, could be different. One could possibly have ADHD while the other twin could not.
2. Exposure to Toxic Substances
Mothers who smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy could put their unborn child to risk of having ADHD. Nicotine, alcohol, and lead can be toxic to developing brain tissue and may have sustained effects on the behavior of the children exposed to these substances at early ages.
3. Brain Tumors, Strokes, Diseases, or any kind of trauma
A serious blow on the head causing trauma could lead to a child having ADHD growing up. Such experiences can lead to poor regulation of motor activity and impulses.
There is no known cure for ADHD, but a child can be helped by seeing a behavioral and developmental pediatrician. It would even be best that a child with ADHD can be taught by a special teacher who knows the child’s learning style. Children with ADHD can be mistaken as the noisy, inattentive and slow in class, but in reality they could be talented and should be given special attention.
I had a chat with a good friend about a month ago and she mentioned that she fears that her son has ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or simply known as ADD. The only symptom that she mentioned about her son was that her son does not look at her directly when she tries to talk with him. I laughed, because our Roi looks at us in the eye whenever we converse. In fact, he would hold my chin and try to turn my head to his direction whenever I am not paying attention.
But lately I am concerned. Since Roi has been going to school, there has been lots of complains from his teachers and learning mates. I remembered ADHD so I did the research myself.
Here are some symptoms of ADHD:
- *Constantly fidgets and squirms
- *Often leaves his or her seat in situations where sitting quietly is expected
- *Moves around constantly, often runs or climbs inappropriately
- *Talks excessively
- *Has difficulty playing quietly or relaxing
- *Is always “on the go,” as if driven by a motor
- *May have a quick temper or a “short fuse”
- *Acts without thinking
- *Blurts out answers in class without waiting to be called on or hear the whole question
- *Can’t wait for his or her turn in line or in games
- *Says the wrong thing at the wrong time
- *Often interrupts others
- *Intrudes on other people’s conversations or games
- *Inability to keep powerful emotions in check, resulting in angry outbursts or temper tantrums
- *Guesses, rather than taking time to solve a problem
I personally think Roi has got all these symptoms. But the good thing is that no one can really conclude that a child has ADHD if he or she is under 7 years old. I think the line between ADHD and “kid behavior” is too narrow it would be hard to tell. Roi just turned 5 last March so I guess it’s too early to say he has this disorder.
On the lighter side, ADHD children are creative,flexible, has lots of energy and drive, and never runs out of enthusiasm.
Most cases of ADHD are caused by poor parenting, or children have been in any way abused. I think my parents and my family back in the Philippines did such a good job at parenting Roi and Ria while they were there for 10 months, so definitely poor parenting is not the cause for this behavior.
Roi is one of those children who are so loving and sweet. He worries a lot about us, and always thinks of ways to help us or make us happy. With ADHD or not, he is our boy and he is such a precious gift to our family.
He has a bad temper, shouts often and can’t stay still, but he is just 5. I guess I will have to worry about ADHD later. All I can do now is to shower him with love– every drop of love that I have! Anything for my kids.