Hyperactivity is a basic sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can also occur with other conditions, but that symptom is easy to detect.Paulino Castells,Doctor in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona and specialist in Pediatrics, Neurology and Psychiatry, he is dedicated to Child and Youth Psychiatry, and in that interview he talks about how hyperactivity can be detected and diagnosed in a child.
Paulino Castells is also the author of about twenty books, among themNever still, always distracted. Is our son hyperactive? (ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a book that provides answers to all the questions frequently asked by many parents and teachers of nervous and inattentive children. Guiainfantil.com gives you a summary of what you will find in it.
1. What is a child with ADHD like and how is this disorder diagnosed?
This is a child who presents serious difficulties in maintaining attention and is often accompanied by hyperactivity and impulsivity, that is, excess movements and precipitation of behavior.
The diagnosis of this disorder is made through questioning and clinical examination by a doctor, and must be confirmed with psychological tests (mental tests), neurophysiological tests (such as, for example, visual and auditory cognitive evoked potentials , P-300) and specific analytics.
2. What are the early symptoms of ADHD? When can parents suspect that their child is hyperactive? And what should they do?
The suspicion that the child has ADHD begins to be notorious at the beginning of schooling, with the well-known complaints of teachers in kindergartens or nurseries or kindergarten.
3. Many people mistake hyperactivity for other situations. What is not ADHD?
The child who is simply moved and distracted does not have ADHD, as is the case with most children in their first years of life, who present what we could call a 'physiological' hyperactivity. There are also occasional and temporary situations of distraction and hyperactivity due to certain disease states: as is the case with intellectual deficits (such as mental retardation), or emotional deficits (for example, depression), or due to breathing disorders ( for example, sleep apneas), or hormonal disturbances (for example, hyperthyroidism), or metal poisoning (such as lead and aluminum), or substance abuse, and even from the side effect of some medications.
4. Are all hyperactive children nervous? Are all nervous children hyperactive?
Not necessarily all children with ADHD manifest a state of nervousness, which is translated into a torrent of mobility and constant motor restlessness, because there is a group of patients with ADHD (although it is small) whose only clinical manifestation is their lack of attention and they usually be still.
5. Currently, what type of treatment is being used for children with ADHD?
At present, we have effective specific medications to treat this disorder; but my personal opinion is that they are being abused a lot.
You have to individualize each case and see the pros and cons of the medication, or opt for more natural treatments, such as, for example, dietary ones, based on vitamin or amino acid supplements, contribution of fatty acids, exclusion of certain nutrients allergies, etc. that we are using in professional practice to complement the action of the medication or even to postpone or withdraw it.
6. The behavior of a child with ADHD is known to create conflicts in family and school life. What kind of care and guidance is given to parents and teachers so they don't feel so distressed and helpless?
Thorough information to parents and teachers of the characteristics of the child with ADHD, would avoid many treatments that have the sole objective of 'appeasing' the excessively moved child at home and that disrupts the school class.
7. If a hyperactive child is diagnosed and treated, will he be able to have a normal adult life?
Undoubtedly: the child with ADHD diagnosed on time and treated appropriately, both in the family and pedagogical, psychological and medical aspects, does not have to present problems in his adult life, although he carries what we call a 'residual ADHD' and him any clinical symptoms remain.
8. Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and other geniuses had ADHD. Is intelligence related to hyperactivity?
If we prevent the socio-family environment from 'crushing' him in his childhood, when he reaches adulthood, his own vital hyperactivity will allow him to develop and execute multiple tasks at the same time, with which, if we understand by intelligence 'the ability to solve problems' (which is one of its definitions), we are facing an evident alliance between intelligence and hyperactivity.
Likewise, the historical list of great people, who were supposed to have ADHD, is long in antiquity and also in closer times, such as the cases of Salvador Dalí, Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton ... And, saving the distances, my good friend and colleague from New York Luis Rojas Marcos, and in case someone did not know, also a servant, has also recognized his disorder in childhood and youth.
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