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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Son's Disorder - ADHD....


Our son, Charles Rafael del Prado is a handful. Even in his pre-schooling did unusual things at his level. He tears his books, ran and roams in school, jump and climbing the furniture. His interest is easily diverted in a few minutes when playing or in an activity and he would often ran off without warning, seemingly unaware of the dangers in a crowded mall.

It was fatiguing for us but never been too concerned back then because we think, boy’s will be boys. But at his age 6.5 my wife, Jing can no longer control him. Jing is struggling for him to settle down and complete even the simplest tasks, from chores to homework. When his school, Christ Achievers Montessori (CAM) comments about his inattention and disruptive behavior in his class they subject him for an evaluation for behavioral test. The school counselor expressed that he maybe well off to a special school. They are giving him up so easily don't you think?

The school gave a letter indicating our son’s behavior and this was given to the developmental pediatric. It was advised that Charles can no longer attend to class without diagnosis of a Doctor because they can no longer handle him. The Doctor immediately run psychological and behavioral test for an hour and gave her findings.

Charles has Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

What are his symptoms that made him an ADHD?

Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age. Those underlined phrases below are the symptoms of our son that made the doctor to conclude that he has the disorder.

Children who have symptoms of inattention may:

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions.

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:

  • Fidget and squirm in their seats
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:

  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.

ADHD has three subtypes:

  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
    • Most symptoms (six or more) are in the hyperactivity-impulsivity categories.
    • Fewer than six symptoms of inattention are present, although inattention may still be present to some degree.
  • Predominantly inattentive
    • The majority of symptoms (six or more) are in the inattention category and fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, although hyperactivity-impulsivity may still be present to some degree.
    • Children with this subtype are less likely to act out or have difficulties getting along with other children. They may sit quietly, but they are not paying attention to what they are doing. Therefore, the child may be overlooked, and parents and teachers may not notice that he or she has ADHD.
  • Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
    • Six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present.
    • Most children have the combined type of ADHD.

(According to research) What Causes ADHD?


· Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role. Like many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors. In addition to genetics, researchers are looking at possible environmental factors, and are studying how brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment might contribute to ADHD.


· Genes. Inherited from our parents, genes are the "blueprints" for who we are. Results from several international studies of twins show that ADHD often runs in families. Researchers are looking at several genes that may make people more likely to develop the disorder. Knowing the genes involved may one day help researchers prevent the disorder before symptoms develop. Learning about specific genes could also lead to better treatments.


· Children with ADHD who carry a particular version of a certain gene have thinner brain tissue in the areas of the brain associated with attention. This NIMH research showed that the difference was not permanent, however, and as children with this gene grew up, the brain developed to a normal level of thickness. Their ADHD symptoms also improved.


·Environmental factors. Studies suggest a potential link between cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy and ADHD in children. In addition, preschoolers who are exposed to high levels of lead, which can sometimes be found in plumbing fixtures or paint in old buildings, may have a higher risk of developing ADHD.


· Brain injuries. Children who have suffered a brain injury may show some behaviors similar to those of ADHD. However, only a small percentage of children with ADHD have suffered a traumatic brain injury.


· Sugar. The idea that refined sugar causes ADHD or makes symptoms worse is popular, but more research discounts this theory than supports it. In one study, researchers gave children foods containing either sugar or a sugar substitute every other day. The children who received sugar showed no different behavior or learning capabilities than those who received the sugar substitute. Another study in which children were given higher than average amounts of sugar or sugar substitutes showed similar results.


· In another study, children who were considered sugar-sensitive by their mothers were given the sugar substitute aspartame, also known as Nutrasweet. Although all the children got aspartame, half their mothers were told their children were given sugar, and the other half were told their children were given aspartame. The mothers who thought their children had gotten sugar rated them as more hyperactive than the other children and were more critical of their behavior, compared to mothers who thought their children received aspartame.


· Food additives. Recent British research indicates a possible link between consumption of certain food additives like artificial colors or preservatives, and an increase in activity. Research is under way to confirm the findings and to learn more about how food additives may affect hyperactivity.

As to initial consultation, we are advised to send our son to attend a psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments includes medication. A medication called ‘stimulant’ to lower or reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. Medication also may improve physical coordination.

We are aware that all of medications imply side effects and specifically to his medication he might endure sleep problems and decrease in appetite. But we have our highest hope that our son will be well again through continued therapy and medication.

We hope and pray that during and after his time of treatment may we be given more strength, patience and understanding to what he is going through that he may feel love and care. We know that all of these behaviours he will be treated indifferently and even discriminated. But a little understanding is what we ask for those who do not know him that may this venue enlighten them.

We seek nothing but to give our son a chance ... a chance to live a normal life!

1 comments:

filmon said...

get well soon, i'll pray for your family :) God bless

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