Tuesday, May 17

My child has ADHD, what do I do?

Today is National Day for ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Learning difficulties are part of the diversity of the classrooms, hence the importance of knowing their characteristics to help from understanding.

What is ADHD?

In the first place, ADHD corresponds to the acronym of Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity. This neurodevelopmental disorder can be with or without hyperactivity, that is, ADD and TDH.

They are characterized by:

  • Lack of attention

  • Hyperactivity

  • Impulsiveness

  • Difficulty concentrating on a task

  • Difficulty controlling your emotions

  • Difficulty planning

Rafa Guerrero, psychologist and expert in ADHD, mentions that the brain of these children is characterized, in the first place, by a dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. This area is in charge of regulating our impulses and emotions, the will, organizing ourselves, our attention, being mentally flexible, etc. Second, the rub-striatum-cerebellar circuit is more immature than a child or adolescent of the same age. Finally, the brain volume of the child with ADHD is between 3% and 5% smaller and the neural connections are more weakened.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder

Which implies that the brain of people with this disorder develops in a slower way. This developmental delay is 30-35%, therefore, 15-year-old children with ADHD have a brain with a development equivalent to a 10-year-old child. The problem is that We tend to demand them based on their age, without taking into account that their brain development is significantly slower. Therefore, we set goals that they cannot achieve and, when they do not meet them, we blame them for not achieving them. ”

15-year-old children with ADHD have a brain that is equivalent to a 10-year-old development

There is no ‘ADHD test’

There is no disorder in which we can do a test to detect whether we have it or not. “The professional has to evaluate many areas: emotional, social, executive functions, behavior … And once all these areas have been evaluated, we can determine whether a person suffers from ADHD or not.”

The causes of ADHD are, above all, genetic

Studies of genetics Molecular molecules have related the disorder primarily to several genes on different chromosomes and their copy number variations. It is, therefore, a disorder of polygenic inheritance, that is, multiple genes contribute to the phenotype of the TDAH.

A child with ADHD is neither lazy nor dumb

Lazy, stupid, immature, clueless, restless…. are some of the labels that are put on these children. Labels that, as Rafa Guerrero recalls, “condition them and prevent them from moving forward and that, of course, have no foundation. For example, intelligence tests of people with ADHD show that they have an IQ in the average or even above average ”.

ADHD is a chronic disorder

Therefore, ADHD has no cure. Parents and teachers of children with ADHD have to be their “crutch”, that support they need in order to continue performing in school.

Children with ADHD have mindfulness for 5 to 6 minutes

Hence the importance of focusing the information on those times and taking periodic one-minute breaks.

Children with ADHD are often required to do things they cannot do, like focus or plan Pexels

On the other hand, José Ramón Gamo, an expert in Learning Difficulties, points out the importance of working with them through audiovisual support. Children with ADHD, and even those who do not, benefit from learning new concepts through this method. It also alerts us to the importance of adapting our communication while they are able to maintain their attention. As he claims, We cannot explain something to you and spend more than 20 minutes, objectively we have lost it after 8 minutes.

How can I help my child with ADHD?

José Ramón Gamo, proposes that from home we use Apps such as “Showme”, where we can download YouTube videos, remove the sound and include our own audio with the information they are giving in class. Videos should be between 30 seconds and one minute, depending on your attention span. The goal is for you to be able to access information and learn it in a meaningful way. The expert declares: “At the beginning, families have some resistance, however, when you take some practice, it only takes 10 or 15 minutes to do it. But the impact on their children is incredible. ”

Intelligence tests of people with ADHD show that they have average or even above average IQs

In the same way, it proposes that our children participate in their own learning process. When they are the ones who look for the images, select the text of the syllabus and create the dialogues, their concentration is active and they learn more.

Some tricks that can help a child with ADHD study and concentrate

Children with ADHD need breaks to be more efficient in their study, some resources could be:

  1. Buy a ball so they can bounce it.

  2. Pin pon balls to count the touches they make with the ball.

  3. Jump rope.

  4. Juggle.

  5. Play board games like Parcheesi or Goose.

How should we treat a child with ADHD?

Regarding the treatment that mothers and fathers should have with our children with ADHD, Rafa Guerrero proposes some keys:

1. Honey: One of the things that a minor with ADHD needs most is love and understanding, since this disorder is not observable and there are many myths that point to children and adolescents, or their parents, as guilty of this pathology.

2. Patience: kids with ADHD take time, a lot of time. We cannot forget that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which implies that your brain matures more slowly than normal.

3. Never punish them without their favorite activity. For example, without a patio, without going to birthdays, without going to soccer, to painting… The social part is fundamental. Without highly stigmatized children because of the symptoms, often separated by the rest of the peers and this would only aggravate the problem.

4. Don’t scold them. What they need is understanding. “They are the first who do not want to behave as they do, but it is something that is beyond their control because of that cerebral immaturity.”

5. Trust them and reinforce their good behaviors.

6. Respect the hours of sleep and rest and promote sports (eliminates dopamine and endorphins).

7. Always establish the same rules and their natural consequences. The limits and norms cannot depend on the emotional state in which we find ourselves, they must have a continuity in time and be related. If we have told you that you cannot play with the Tablet anymore because the time has passed, we cannot leave you without your favorite dinner, it does not make sense. Its logical consequence is to eliminate or reduce the time you spend with her until you learn to respect it.


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