Saturday, 22 November 2008

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is disease found in 8 to 10% school going children. The boys are three times more susceptible to this syndrome than girls, reason is not known yet. Diagnosing ADHD; sans any clinical tests like other common diseases. Clinical judgment taking into account of all symptoms associated with ADHD is the method of diagnosing ADHD.
Doctors need to collect information from both the parents and the teachers. Children with ADHD act without thinking. They may understand how they are expected to do but may not be able to act accordingly. They are inattentive, cannot sit idle; at the same time know not what to do. Of course all the kids behave sometimes this way but not all the time. With their growing age they gradually get collected and settled. ADHD is diagnosed when such behavioral pattern prolongs for long time and does not show the sign to recede.
The symptoms of ADHD may be absent in doctor’s chamber. The children face different challenges at home and school. So the observations at home and school may differ. This may compel the parents and teachers hold different perspectives. Say, the parents can observe how a child responds to chores or the temptations at stores. The teacher at school may observe how a child concentrates, listen intently, manage with tasks and remain unperturbed by the activities of other children. When parents and teachers agree with their observation, it becomes easy for the doctor to diagnose. Obviously it does not happen all the times. Then the task of diagnosing ADHD becomes more complex.
Paper-and –pencil questionnaires are helpful to diagnose ADHD. It helps to collect information fast. This helps to compare the child to so-called normal group. One set of questionnaires are specifically on the symptoms of ADHD. The other set compiles the questionnaires focusing broad range of problems. They are related to medical and psychological, this may imitate to ADHD. Both the questionnaires are useful.
Questionnaires and the careful interview with medical history and physical examination of child help a lot to conclusive diagnosis. The interview should cover pregnancy and birth; any accident or mishap, temperament; past and present illness; the family history of any ADHD related condition. If there is any stress at home or in the neighborhood! Taking all these factors into account and eliminating the chances of other problems that may pose like ADHD, the doctor can detect a child with ADHD by clinical judgment.

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