Watch out for ADHD in kids, warn doctors

If your little one is hyperactive and it is difficult to match his movements, as he is constantly fidgeting with things, it may not be a good sign.

This is what pediatrics neurologists at the premier tertiary care institute, PGIMER, warn of, as the inability to be attentive for long, constantly moving and talking aimlessly are some warning signs of the neurodevelopmental disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), cases of which are on the rise.

Says Dr Prabhjot Malhi of Advanced Pediatrics Centre, "There is a very fine line dividing a child with ADHD and a normal active child and only after a thorough diagnosis and taking various factors into account can a child be labeled as suffering from the disorder".

Many times, it is seen that teachers also complain that the child does not sit in the class, is constantly restless, is not able to pay attention to what is being taught in class. At home, as well, if such children are fidgety, then these can be taken as warning signals, she added.

Adds Dr Pratibha Singhi, head of Pediatrics Neurology, PGI, "ADHD is a common developmental disorder which begins in childhood. An individual with ADHD finds it much more difficult to focus on something without being distracted. He has greater difficulty in controlling what he is doing or saying and is less able to control how much physical activity is appropriate for a particular situation".

In other words, a person with ADHD is much more impulsive and restless. It is estimated that around 6-7% of children have ADHD.

An ADHD diagnosis has to be carried out by a specialist - usually a pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist. The specialist will observe the child and recognise behavior patterns. Data regarding the child's behavior at home and at school will also be studied. Since it is not clear why children develop ADHD, it is difficult to prevent.

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