Overcoming ADHD

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS -

LISA’S son Jack ( not their real names) had al­ways been a hand­ful. As a preschooler, he would tear through the house and no toy or ac­tiv­ity held his in­ter­est for more than a few min­utes.

Things did not im­prove when he went to pri­mary school. Ac­cord­ing to his class teacher, Jack was not able to carry out sim­ple prob­lem- solv­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Af­ter nu­mer­ous com­plaints of his dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour at school, Lisa con­tacted ChildPsych, the Child Psy­chol­ogy divi­sion of the In­ter­na­tional Psy­chol­ogy Cen­tre, to make an ap­point­ment for an ini­tial as­sess­ment.

The Wech­sler In­tel­li­gence Scale for Chil­dren that di­ag­noses chil­dren psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­or­ders such as learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties was em­ployed to ob­serve Jack’s learn­ing abil­i­ties and de­tect any at­ten­tion and con­cen­tra­tion dif­fi­cul­ties.

The as­sess­ment re­vealed that Jack scored poorer than chil­dren of his age, in­di­cat­ing an at­ten­tion- deficit dis­or­der.

Jack was di­ag­nosed with At­ten­tion- Deficit Dis­or­der ( ADD) or At­ten­tion- Deficit/ Hy­per­ac­tiv­ity Dis­or­der ( ADHD), a form of be­havioural dis­or­der.

Af­ter sub­se­quent tests, a child psy­chother­apy pro­gramme was de­vel­oped to re­solve the weak­nesses iden­ti­fied in Jack.

This pro­gramme em­pha­sised be­havioural ther­apy and was de­signed to change neg­a­tive be­havioural pat­terns by re­or­gan­is­ing Jack’s home and school en­vi­ron­ment, giv­ing clear di­rec­tions and com­mands as well as set­ting up a sys­tem of con­sis­tent re­wards for ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iours and neg­a­tive con­se­quences for in­ap­pro­pri­ate ones.

Psy­chonu­tri­tional ther­apy was also im­ple­mented to treat bio­chem­i­cal aspects of Jack’s ADHD.

This ther­apy in­volved us­ing a se­ries of sup­ple­ments man­u­fac­tured with nat­u­ral herbs.

Af­ter 12 ses­sions of a com­bined ther­a­peu­tic pro­gramme, Jack was able to fol­low in­struc­tions not only at home but also at school.

His school teach­ers com­pli­mented on the im­prove­ment of his at­ten­tion span and fo­cus on school­work.

Lisa was over­joyed to see Jack be­ing able to lis­ten at­ten­tively to her, pay at­ten­tion in class and be­ing able to so­cialise with other chil­dren bet­ter.

“ADHD is not plainly about dis­obey­ing rules, but con­cerns the over­whelm­ing in­for­ma­tion that chil­dren re­ceive. Pro­vid­ing ther­apy is like giv­ing them a pair of glasses that en­able them to see prop­erly again,” says Dr Ed­ward Chan, prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant child psy­chol­o­gist of ChildPsych, Cen­tre for Child and Ado­les­cent Psy­chol­ogy.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 03- 2727 7437 or e- mail childpsych@ psy­chol­ogy. com. my or visit

Chil­dren with ADHD may be eas­ily dis­tracted as they are not able to process the over­whelm­ing in­for­ma­tion they re­ceive.

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