Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

What are the characteristics of the ADD child? These characteristics include:

  • the child who often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless
  • Mistakes in schoolwork
  • the child who often has difficulties sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • the child who often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • the child who often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores
  • the child who has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • the child who often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
  • The child who often loses things necessary for tasks or activities
  • The child who is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • The child who is often forgetful in daily activities

What all these descriptions have in common, is that they all describe a difficulty in controlling some aspects of the child's behaviour. If your child has six or more of these symptoms, and has had them for at least six months; then he meets the diagnostic criteria for Attention Deficit Disorder.

If he or she also has been found to:

  • often fidget with hands or feet or squirms in the chair
  • often leaves his seat in the classroom or in other situations
  • often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate
  • often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • often has difficulty awaiting turn
  • often talks excessively
  • often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • often interrupts or intrudes on others

If your child has at least six of these traits and has had them for at least 6 months, then he or she meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Of course most children have some of these traits some of the time, what is a factor in the diagnosis, is the child having at least six of these traits for a significant period of time.

Like many other behaviour disorders, ADHD is very complex. There are similarities among children who are diagnosed as having ADHD, but there are also huge differences. Two children may overlap in some symptoms but diverge greatly in others. The severity of characteristics displayed by individual children varies greatly, making an instant diagnosis virtually impossible. A diagnosis of ADHD requires the coordinated efforts of several professionals asking the right questions and using a variety of tests to eliminate problems that mimic ADHD.

It is in the coordination of services, and decisions concerning behaviour management,
Where I can help you. Having worked in the public sector for over 16 years, and specifically in the department of children with "Special Needs" for a significant part of the that time, as well as 22 years in the counselling field, there are several ways I can help you with:

  • Information concerning your rights to FREE services
  • Accessing the public sector for services
  • Directing you to the appropriate agencies
  • Teaching you how to assert your rights in a non-threatening manner
  • Offering you resources for private services, such as tutors, behaviour therapists, etc.
  • Techniques on how to encourage the school system to work with you
  • How to explain ADHD to your child and his siblings
  • Building self-esteem in your child
  • Deciding about medication; the pros and cons
  • Deciding about being "coded" in school, the pros and cons
  • Maintaining harmony in the home throughout this challenging period of time.
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