[OPINION] Giving attention to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
What is ADHD? To put it simply, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a brain condition that makes it difficult for someone to control their own behavior and emotion. The said condition disrupts the brain and its processes, resulting in a shorter attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Also, it is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.A child’s seemingly endless curiosity to ask and know more about the world often leads them to become extraordinarily active. However, there are some cases where children become too hyperactive and impulsive compared to normal children. This is one of the common symptoms for a child with ADHD.
For us to understand more about ADHD, as not simply connotating it to an overly active child, it is important to remember the causes, common symptoms, and treatment.
ADHD is considered as the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder among children. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors, act without thinking about what the result will be, and are overly active.
ADHD can also affect your child’s school performance or social life. Usually, kids with such conditions do not notice how their behavior may affect other people; this might lead the affected child to have trouble in making friends. Kids with ADHD also struggle with conversation because they misinterpret what others say and are distracted by unrelated thoughts.
They overreact to situations, as they usually struggle with self-control, and lash out when they are upset or have occasional meltdowns. They have trouble with planning, leading other kids to perceive them as unreliable.
Recent studies have yet to discover the causes of ADHD. Some people attribute it to heredity, chemical imbalance, brain changes, poor nutrition, toxins, and brain injury or disorder.
The picture of ADHD is not bleak. In fact, there are ways to manage the symptoms of the disease holistically. These range from behavioral intervention programs, parent training and support groups, providing a nurturing environment, and prescription medication.
Parent training is crucial as they and close family members and even friends need to be patient, understanding, and considerate within limits as their kids are undergoing struggles beyond their control. (READ: What you can do if your child is being bullied)
As I mentioned before, children affected with ADHD require a holistic approach in managing their behavior, and socio-emotional and cognitive development. Finding the right medical partner with the proper facilities and services will greatly help these parents to find the right treatment tailored to the specific needs of their child and their family.
Medical care is a potent tool in managing the necessary therapies and evaluation for the affected child. Parental care and understanding are not only the vital tools for a child with ADHD to live a normal life; medical professionals from trusted institutions are also a child’s partner to go beyond the limits set by misconceptions against ADHD. (READ: Why I chose a non-trad school for my child)
Overall, ADHD should not be perceived as a burden for parents to bear. In fact, children with ADHD can live normally and experience the same love and care like those of other children. With the proper medical care and parental love, a child with ADHD can integrate with society and be a contributor in building our country as we move forward. (READ: Embracing humanity: 'Yakap,' the documentary on children with special needs)
We need to stop the stigma towards ADHD and work together in ensuring a nurturing environment for every child. – Rappler.com
Dr. Rita Grace Villadolid is a child developmental pediatrician and the head of the Child Development Enrichment Center of ManilaMed-Medical Center Manila. She is a fellow of the Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.