Tack­ling ADD in chil­dren

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING -

SAN­DRA and Paul (not their real names) found it dif­fi­cult to han­dle their eight-year-old son, Alex who has at­ten­tion dis­or­der since preschool.

San­dra and Paul never no­ticed the se­ri­ous­ness of their son’s prob­lem un­til he en­tered se­cond grade in his pri­mary school.

They tried send­ing him to a tu­ition cen­tre to im­prove his stud­ies and his at­ten­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, it made mat­ters worse.

At home, Alex could not do his home­work without his par­ents’ reg­u­lar as­sis­tance. He al­ways got dis­tracted eas­ily by the sound from the TV and pass­ing ve­hi­cles.

His par­ents felt it hard to get him con­cen­trate on his home­work. They spent long hours with him to get it done. How­ever, it usu­ally ended up messy and dis­or­gan­ised.

In school, the teach­ers strug­gled with his dif­fi­cul­ties. Alex was a loner and that made reach­ing out to him dif­fi­cult.

Alex tuned out quite fre­quently and got con­fused and con­stantly day­dreamt in class. Some­times, he would just ig­nore the teacher and for­got what the teacher had taught him.

San­dra and Paul are not alone in this. They are two of the many par­ents hav­ing the same prob­lem and find­ing it hard to un­der­stand and man­age their child’s lack of at­ten­tion.

They sought in­for­ma­tion from the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia on how to deal with this prob­lem. They found that the web­site /ChildPsych – Cen­tre for Child and Ado­les­cent Psychology/( www.psychology.com. my) was able to help with their son’s prob­lem.

Dur­ing the first ses­sion, the child psy­chol­o­gist in­ter­viewed them on the child’s back­ground and de­vel­op­men­tal his­tory. They wanted to know how Alex was grow­ing up so that they could have bet­ter un­der­stand his sit­u­a­tion.

They then held a sep­a­rate ses­sion with Alex to as­sess him for his be­hav­iour and prob­lem in pay­ing at­ten­tion.

At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der

Af­ter the assess­ment was done, the psy­chol­o­gist re­vealed that their son may be suf­fer­ing from a dis­or­der called At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der (ADD). This af­fected his be­hav­iour, at­ten­tion and learn­ing.

At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der (ADD) is a psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­der or neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal be­havioural dis­or­der char­ac­terised by sig­nif­i­cant dif­fi­cul­ties only on inat­ten­tion.

This in­cludes easy dis­trac­tion, miss­ing de­tails, for­get­ting things and fre­quently switch­ing from one ac­tiv­ity to an­other, hav­ing dif­fi­culty main­tain­ing fo­cus on one task, be­came bored with a task af­ter only a few min­utes, un­less they are do­ing some­thing en­joy­able.

They have dif­fi­cul­ties fo­cus­ing at­ten­tion on or­gan­is­ing and com­plet­ing a task or learn­ing some­thing new.

They also have trou­ble com­plet­ing or turn­ing in home­work as­sign­ments, of­ten los­ing things that are needed to com­plete tasks or ac­tiv­i­ties.

They do not seem to lis­ten when spo­ken to, they day­dream and be­come eas­ily con­fused. They also have dif­fi­cul­ties pro­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion as quickly and ac­cu­rately like other nor­mal chil­dren and strug­gle to fol­low in­struc­tions.

Alex’s ther­apy lasted from six to 12 ses­sions af­ter which he is able to man­age his be­hav­iour.

With his par­ents’ as­sis­tance Alex has dra­mat­i­cally less com­plaints from teach­ers about his dis­abil­ity.

More im­por­tantly San­dra and Paul are now able to en­joy their fam­ily life again as they no longer to use neg­a­tive pun­ish­ment for their son’s inat­ten­tive be­hav­iour.

* This ar­ti­cle is contributed by ChildPsych - In­ter­na­tional Psychology Cen­tre’s team of chil­dren psychology therapists and psy­chonu­tri­tional therapists. Con­tact them at the In­ter­na­tional Psychology Cen­tre Sdn Bhd, 11-1 Wisma Lax­ton, Jalan Desa, Ta­man Desa, KL.

Call 03-27277434, e-mail info@ psychology.com.my or log on to www.psychology.com.my or www.malaysianpsy­chol­ogy.com. Visit Face­book: www.face­book. com/psy­chol­o­gya­sia or get Twit­ter up­dates via twit­ter. com/ msi­apsy­chol­ogy and the Cen­tre’s blog malaysi­apsy­chol­ogy.word­press. com/

Stu­dents with ADD may have trou­ble con­cen­trat­ing, get­ting or­gan­ised or re­mem­ber­ing what they have read.

Kids with ADD find it hard to do their home­work even with their par­ents’ as­sis­tance.

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