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Attention Deficit Disorder

What is ADD/AHDH?

ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder, while AHDH is ADD with hyperactivity. These are neurological disorders, and the actions resulting from these disorders are not instances of wilful disobedience. Children with these disorders need to be brought up with extra care and attention. They have difficulty following rules and regulations, and are unable to complete school work. Such children tend to be extremely disorganised. They cannot keep track of time. They tend to constantly misplace their things and to be generally scatterbrained. Children with ADD tend to be shy, while those with AHDH are hyperactive and tend to throw violent temper tantrums. 

My child is a scatterbrain! Does he have ADD of AHDH?

If your child seems to be a bit of a scatterbrain or/and has a bad temper, don't jump to the conclusion that he has this disorder. Only when his symptoms seem to be extreme, need you be concerned. In any case, it is best that you consult a child psychologist for a diagnosis if you feel that your child could be suffering from either of these problems. Other disorders (sleep disorders, autism, hearing disorders) could be confused with ADD. 

Does this mean that my child will be poor in studies?

Yes, in all likelihood children with ADD or AHDH tend to be poor students. Some children may require special education aids. This may not be easy to arrange with schools as a lot of institutions do not recognise this disorder. However, you should definitely have a talk with your child's teacher. The teacher could perhaps accordingly schedule homework for the child. Remember, children with ADD or AHDH are just as intelligent as the next child. However, they may often feel overwhelmed with the workload and may have problems proceeding. 

Are children with ADD 'stupid'?

Definitely not! Nevertheless, they do tend to find schoolwork more of a struggle than most other children. If they have difficulty comprehending a new subject, they may feel hesitant to ask a teacher to explain something again. So if you as a parent go through their schoolwork with them, it would help tremendously. 

How can your child's teacher help?

If your child has been diagnosed with AHDH, speak to his teacher. Children with AHDH have difficulty sitting in one place for extended periods of time. Thus, in between class periods, the teacher could perhaps have all the children stretch for two minutes. She should also praise your child every time he fares well or does something right. She could call upon him to read aloud from a textbook every once in a while. 

What will a child with AHDH be like in the classroom?

A child suffering from AHDH is relatively easier to spot than one suffering from ADD. He will probably be one of the most boisterous children in the class. He will be constantly forgetting to complete his homework. He will also keep forgetting books, pens and pencils at home. He would be poor in studies and would be aggressive - a true 'fighter cock'! A child suffering from ADD would be a loner, shy and would have low self-esteem.

Is ADD/AHDH more common in boys?

There was a time when this was thought to be the case, but now it has been found that these disorders are just as common in girls. In fact, as these disorders are recently coming to light, a lot of adults have also been diagnosed as having ADD/AHDH. They may lead perfectly normal lives, be happily married, have children, but every once in a while suffer an incomprehensible breakdown - as if they are losing control. Sometimes events seem to overwhelm them, and they don't know how to cope. 

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