Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder, commonly known as ADD (or ADHD for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a common diagnosis. Many professionals use the ADD and ADHD terms interchangeably. Nevertheless, it is often a condition that can be too easily attributed to a lot of children without a thorough evaluation by the appropriate specialists.

Children with ADD/ADHD can’t maintain their focus and are impulsive. Children with inattention are easily distracted, disorganized, have trouble following through, and of course, they have a hard time paying attention. Hyperactivity means constant moment, such as fidgeting and not being able to sit still. Impulsivity is a tendency to act without thinking.

Children with ADD/ADHD often demonstrate other characteristics such as disorganization, aggressive behavior, daydreaming, ‘dare-devil’ behavior, memory problems and poor co-ordination. One salient feature of ADD/ADHD, which causes confusion is inconsistency, whereby there are good and bad days whereby for example, one day a child does all his/her schoolwork and the next day doesn’t. Children with ADD/ADHD are often isolated from their peers because of their difficulties, which require a disproportionate amount of attention from adults. Other children may resent them for taking up so much attention and disrupting the class. The children themselves often end up lonely and depressed. 

A child’s psychologist role in ADHD is three-fold:

Play therapy

Once a child has been diagnosed, a child psychologist will be able to help the youngster to build up various coping skills, such as time management, making friends, dealing with feelings, staying focused and practical skills such as getting ready in the morning. Children with ee often attract lots of friends initially because they come across as fun and adventurous. Nevertheless, their peers often tire of them making it difficult for these children to maintain the friendship over a significant period of time. All too often children are medicated, and add is not explained to them, and there is confusion as to why they are taking medication. Therefore it is important that ee is explained to children in a way that is realistic, positive and constructive. Child Psychologists help children to front the many challenges of ee.

Assessment

There are tests that measure ee such as questionnaires that parents and teachers fill out. The primary concern in the assessment of a child with ee is on documenting strengths and vulnerabilities as they relate to the real life for the child with ee. A thorough developmental history of the child is also important in assessing the child.  In addition, rating forms are also utilized. Cognitive measures, involving the assessment of abilities, achievements, memory, visual-motor, language, visual-spatial and socio-emotional skills are all required to answer the possibility of co-morbid conditions or additional components that tend to make each individual ee set of circumstances rather unique. 

The assessment of scholastic achievements are vitally important. The discrepancy between achievement (IQ) and ability is relevant, for example, a child may have an average ability but their achievement in scholastic areas such as reading, may be behind what is expected of them. Tests of Achievement usually focus on the following: (a) Basic Reading, (b) Math Reasoning, (c) Spelling, (d) Reading Comprehension, (e) Numerical Operations, (f) Listening Comprehension, (g) Oral Expression, and (h) Written Expression.
The assessment of the child’s emotional status is another important area which needs to be fully investigated.  A child’s perception of themselves is an important component in the assessment of children with ADD/ADHD.

Parenting Program and Behavioural/Training Program

ADD/ADHD is a perplexing disorder surrounded by controversy, hype and over-diagnosis. Parents with children suffering from ADD/ADHD experience day to day life as a challenge filled with constant battles between them and their child. In addition, parents have concerns about their child taking medication and their child’s emotional well-being. Parenting and Behavioural Programs typically incorporate a series of components, that together, form the basis for the development of a complete and comprehensive behavior management program. If parents and teachers share a general background of basic principles of behavior they will be in a better position to deal with behavioral problems, even when faced with “difficult to manage behavior”.

Other Difficulties
Anxiety
Aggressiveness
Attention Deficit Disorder
Conduct Disorder
Depression
Death and Bereavement
Divorce
Elimination Disorders
Exam Stress
Health/illness
Learning Difficulties
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Self-esteem issues
Social and Peer difficulties

Trauma
Withdrawal Behaviour

Child Therapy
Play Therapy

 

 

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