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.