Children with ADHD suffer not because of the core symptoms of lnattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity but because these symptoms lead to disruption of normal neuro-developmental processes like learning. This results in impairment in the child’s ability to lead a normal life in the community around it.
Read more..- Symptoms of ADHD
Two major areas of dysfunction are academics and social behaviour. If unchecked, these lead to further deterioration in self-esteem, motivation, behaviour and mood and are associated with higher incidence of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation. When coupled with societal insensitivity and mishandling, this leads to a vicious cycle and a point of no return.
In order to effectively intervene in children with ADHD, the following points must be borne in mind without which complete recovery is unlikely:
● The child suffers from problems in a cluster of areas, hence one modality of intervention is unlikely to benefit.
● Active participation by parents is a must; active participation includes the ability to effectively understand the concerns, be flexible yet firm, consistent and persistent and have realistic time bound goals.
● Academic underachievement is caused by the core symptoms which persist; however, cumulative worsening in academic achievement occurs over a period of time, since new learning is based on mastery of previous learned material. Thus, if a child with ADHD has failed to master Grade 3rd syllabus, it is further difficult for him to connect to Grade 4th syllabus.
● Emotional concerns and academic underachievement are soon ‘mixed up’; it is like the quintessential question, “Who came first, the chicken or the egg?” Improvement in either cannot be expected without tacking both simultaneously.
● Parents, family, society have extremely deep rooted opinions on issues related to child rearing and education; views are freely solicited and freely given (pun intended); myth, dogmas and misplaced egos overlook the necessity of being scientific, evidence based, open and non-defensive.
● Since changes cannot happen overnight, it is easy to lose track of progress. Recognising time bound progress as a necessary component and factoring this into the intervention is crucial.
● Finally, none of the above is possible unless one involves a multi-disciplinary team with each professional’s role well laid out. This can be achieved only if the same is documented, so that there is a plan to cross check ones progress, as well as re-evaluate the latter at regular predetermined intervals. This underlines the necessity to have an Individualised Therapy or Educational Program (lTP/ IEP).
Read more..- Occupational therapy for ADHD