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Children With Attention Disorders

Misbah has done her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has access to a wide range of mental health experts who treat mental illness.

Attention Disorder in Children

Attention Disorder in Children

Attention Deficit Disorder

There are children who seem to be thinking about blue almonds. They look but do not see, hear but do not listen, and do not respond to commands. Despite normal mental development, they have difficulty concentrating for extended periods of time, causing them to fail in their studies. At the same time, they are bursting with energy and can't seem to sit still. They are typically impulsive, saying and doing whatever comes to mind. These are children with attention deficit disorder.

Attention Disorder Syndrome is a neurological unit defined by the coexistence of three symptoms: impulsivity, low resistance to distractions, i.e. distracting stimuli, increased activity, or excess energy. According to research, only one-third of children with these symptoms outgrow them, while the other two-thirds continue to carry these symptoms in adulthood.

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder

A mobile child with difficulty concentrating for a long moment, being distracted by each new stimulus, even of a weak strength — behaves in a manner typical of many preschool and school children. The question arises then when can we talk about a disorder, and when is it a developmental regularity, an individual trait?

The American classification of mental disorders and diseases, DSM-IV, characterizes attention and hyperactivity disorder syndrome, listing two lists of symptoms. One shows the symptoms of inattention, while the other shows the indicators of increased physical activity and impulsiveness. We can only make a hypothesis that a child has attention deficit disorder only if the following conditions are met:

The child reveals at least six symptoms from the list; these symptoms persist for more than six months. They occur in several forms of the child's activity (e.g. not only at school but also at home) These symptoms occurred before the age of seven and stay till late.

A List of Behaviors That Suggest the Presence of Attention Deficit Disorder :

  1. The child has difficulty concentrating on details and makes inattentive mistakes.
  2. He cannot concentrate on the task for a long time.
  3. He gives the impression that he is not listening to the messages conveyed to him.
  4. He does not finish the work he has started, and he does not follow the instructions accurately.
  5. Has problems with organizing work and all activities.
  6. He is reluctant to undertake tasks that require longer intellectual effort.
  7. He loses school supplies and things needed for work and study.
  8. It is easily distracted by even weak stimuli.
  9. He forgets about everyday duties and tasks.


The Emotional and Social Spheres

In the psychological literature, the descriptions of the symptoms of this syndrome are extended to include the emotional and social spheres. These children have problems with controlling their emotions, easily come into conflict with their peers, succumb to moods, are emotionally unstable, tearful, irritable, and explosive. Sometimes aggressive. For this reason, their position in the class is not high. They are usually rejected by colleagues or tolerated with difficulty, although there are exceptions to this rule. These children have a lot of silly ideas and can revive boredom.

As shown by the results of many recent brain studies using imaging techniques in children with attention deficit disorder, the areas of the brain responsible for the regulation and proper course of this process are less developed. These are structures located in the frontal areas of the brain, in the frontal lobes. They take part in developing self-awareness and a sense of time, as well as shaping resistance to disturbances.

Types of Attention Deficit Disorder

There are usually two main types of attention deficit disorder: Hyperactive, Non-Hyperactive, sometimes the mixed type, Inattentive-Hyperactive, is also mentioned.

Many of the secondary symptoms of attention deficit disorder emerge gradually and then later in life in older children and adults. This syndrome manifests itself in a variety of ways. Attention disorders, for example, are associated with symptoms of anxiety, depression, dyslexia, and learning disabilities. Addictions, behavioral disorders, aggression, and antisocial personality, obsessive and antisocial personality disorders, compulsive disorder, and pseudo-distraction are all examples of high-risk behavior or a high need for stimulation.

Pseudo ADD is a phenomenon of cultural inducing symptoms of distraction caused by lifestyle, the fast pace of realization of various tasks and professional duties, and in children resulting from overloading with excess activity caused by various extracurricular activities

What is Attention Deficit Disorder ?

How to Recognize Attention Deficit Disorder?

There is no clear and sharp dividing line between attention deficit disorder and normal behavior. The diagnostic process requires a psychological examination, as well as the comparison of each child with a group of their peers. If it is distinguished by a particular susceptibility to distraction, impulsiveness, and tireless permanent physical activity, and at the same time there are no environmental reasons for such behavior — this supports the assessment that the child has neurologically conditioned attention disorders. Of course, only specialists, psychologists, and psychiatrists experienced in studying mental processes and functions can make a correct diagnosis.

There are two dangers in the diagnostic process: ignoring symptoms or seeing them in all behavior. The first mistake comes from unfamiliarity with the syndrome and its characteristic symptoms. Not every teacher and parent knows that impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distracting behavior are features of the disorder commonly called "attention deficit disorder", known in American literature as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Besides, children with these symptoms in everyday situations may not reveal them in a one-time psychological examination. The novelty and attractiveness of diagnostic methods may cause a child to be very interested in them and not show the behaviors expected and watched by their parents. Since a complete diagnosis should consider data from many different sources and situations.

The second diagnostic risk is recognizing attention deficit disorder too quickly, even when the child's behavior is caused by sporadic and situational circumstances, such as It only occurs when the child is bored or tired.

Also, some medications taken by a child for a different reason may cause similar behavior. For, the diagnostic process should be a multi-specialist activity, considering the results of psychological and medical tests. In the diagnosis of attention disorders, not only the presence of symptoms is taken into account, but also their intensity, period of appearance, and duration.

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What can ADHD look like?

What can ADHD look like?

Treatment and Therapy Options

A specialist diagnosis, i.e. an adequate diagnosis of symptoms, is the first step in treating attention deficit disorder. Therapy begins at this point. The more parents and teachers understand the syndrome, including its symptoms, types, and causes, the more effective the treatment process will be.

Children who are easily distracted, disorganized and disordered need external restraints and adult control. Internal chaos can greatly reduce using practical aids such as a daily planning system, to-do notes, binders, organizers, organizing tabs and containers. It also helps to gradually regain a sense of control over objects owned by the child. It is extremely important to guarantee that the child does not perform several activities at once but focuses on one action.

Individual and group psychotherapy, as well as educational suggestions and guidelines, are frequently required. There are other medications that can enhance a child's functioning - they operate similarly to glasses until they increase focus. They can also help with emotions of inner turmoil and fear. Their effect is due to the fact that they counteract disruptions in the neurotransmitter economy, i.e. substances responsible for the regulation of self-control, mood, and attention processes.

Upbringing and Education of a Child With Attention Disorders

The major objective is to teach the kid how to plan activities and progressively increase the amount of time he or she spends concentrating on assignments. It is critical to incorporate self-monitoring into the education of a child with attention deficit disorder. Behavioral treatment strategies that use positive reinforcements, or rewarding the child's desired behavior, until they are extremely successful. Tasks should be broken down into tiny portions, with each stage finished with a little respite and praise. It is critical to maintaining a consistent daily rhythm, including periods of sleep and wakefulness, time off, work, and relaxation.

Three Rules to Follow in Dealing

There are three rules to follow in dealing with children who have attention deficit disorder both at home and at school:

  1. Regularity, i.e. Acting in a set family rhythm, avoiding sudden and radical changes, calm and consistent enforcement of set-up rules, limiting noisy sounds and strong impressions.
  2. Routine, i.e. Performing specific activities at strictly defined times of the day, according to the same sequence and pattern.
  3. Repetitions, i.e. the constant repetitions necessitate a great deal of patience and effort on the part of parents and teachers, who must repeat basic orders several times to ensure that the kid understands them correctly. This is important owing to the children's weaker, fresh memory.

It is also important to consider the child's diet. Most studies demonstrate that some foods and their components have a negative influence on the disturbed behavior of a child with attention problems. Sugar, cocoa derivatives, chocolate, Coca-Cola, sweets, and any goods that are artificially colored and contain a lot of preservatives are among the most frequently cited.

It should be remembered that only a subset of children with attention problems will be able to eliminate their bothersome symptoms and, due to effective therapy methods, attain their maximum level of functioning in adulthood. Unfortunately, some people will be affected for a longer period of time. Adult management is based on the same concepts established for the treatment of children with attention problems.

Bibliographic and Web References:

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Parenting a Child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Edition: Rev by McGraw-Hill Education

12 Principles for Raising a Child with ADHD by Russell A. Barkley

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh


Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 04, 2021:

Salam, Thank you so much M DrSleep

I am glad that you liked it


Dr Sleep from Pak on March 03, 2021:

nice one dear.

Such a good way to explain

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 02, 2021:

Thank you mubarakshaikh for your kind appreciation


You are welcome


Mubarak from INDIA on March 02, 2021:

Perfect written about attention deficit disorder.Well done

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 02, 2021:

Thank you so much, Manatita for appreciating me as always,

your kind words have always given me the strength to do more better next time


manatita44 from london on March 02, 2021:

Very well done! You have improved immensely! Proud of you. I know some with this problem. Perhaps its worth a lot more studies but yes, food and especially sweet things do not help. These tend to be the very things they like. Lovely article!

Misbah Sheikh (author) on March 02, 2021:

Mr. Bill, Thank you so much for appreciating

I am glad that you liked the information

Your words really matter to me


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 02, 2021:

Wonderful information; nicely presented. When I was in school, they would call these kids a variety of names, none of which were accurate. It's so good that we finally have an understanding of what is happening inside their brains to affect their behavior.

I'm glad you published today. I was able to recognize your name quickly.

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