What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that affects a person’s attention span. Although it is normal for young children have relatively short attention spans, children with ADHD find it difficult to learn and socialize with their friends. An estimated 3%-5% of school-going children in Singapore suffer from this disorder.
Children with ADHD exhibit frequent, persistent, and severe symptoms of:
These symptoms usually appear in children with ADHD before they turn 7 years old. However, just because a child shows some of these symptoms does not mean that he/she has ADHD. If your child does exhibit some of the above symptoms, it may be wise to consult a practicing psychologist so that any issues may be surfaced and rectified as soon as possible.
Types of ADHD
Children with Inattentive ADHD have trouble focusing and are easily distracted.They have no problem with restlessness and impulse control.
Children with this type of ADHD have trouble with restlessness and impulse-control.
They tend to fidget a lot, talk excessively, and are usually impatient.
A combination of both Inattentive ADHD and Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD.
Most common type, affecting about 60% of all children with ADHD
Possible Causes of ADHD
Although there is still no clear cause of ADHD, research suggests that there are some factors that could contribute to the development of the disorder. These include:
Smoking and Drinking during Pregnancy
Pesticides Found in Fruits and Vegetables Consumed
Possible Treatments for ADHD
Children with ADHD may be prescribed with medication to help them deal with the disorder. Medication helps by:
Increasing attention, focus, and concentration.
Decreasing hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractibility.
Most behaviour problems cannot be solved with medication.
Medication does not automatically boost the child’s self-esteem and social skills, nor does it make the child do homework, complete tasks, or be more well-behaved. This is where behaviour therapy comes in.
Behaviour therapy has been found to be effective in treating ADHD by improving the child’s behaviour, self-control, and self-esteem. The effects of behaviour therapy are long lasting as it teaches children to control their behaviour in a way that leads to improved functioning at home, at school, and in relationships.
NurturePods services for ADHD
Home Intervention Programme
This programme is built upon the principles of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), which has been proven to help children with special needs develop social, cognitive, academic, and communication skills amongst others. The 1-to-1 nature of this service allows children with ADHD to have maximum attention of the therapist who can prescribe a structured plan that is tailored to the specific needs of the child.
School Shadow Support Programme
This programme helps children with ADHD adapt to the school setting and regulate behaviours appropriately when in the school. Doing so will establish a positive learning environment where the child can enjoy personal, social, and intellectual development.
Tips for Parents Caring for Children with ADHD
Ensure that your child is supervised at all times
Children with ADHD are more curious and more likely to engage in dangerous behaviours such as running around and climbing onto furniture.
Keep instructions short and simple.
Their short attention spans make it difficult for children with ADHD to process large chunks of information.
Create age-appropriate to-do lists for your child.
Having a to-do list will help children with ADHD understand what is expected of them.
Praise your child for any good behaviour, no matter how small it seems.
Children with ADHD may get a lot of negative feedback about their behaviour, so be sure to praise them when they do well! This will also help them understand what behaviours are appropriate and should be done.
Sheen, B. (2009). ADHD. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books.
Singhealth. (2018). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. [online] Available at: https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-growing-up [Accessed 21 Jan. 2019].
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2018). Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/behavior-therapy.html [Accessed 19 Jan. 2019]