IS IT ADHD OR OTHER DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS?
MARCH 29, 2019 @ 4.03PM
Approximately five percent of children will have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This however, should not be confused with attention problems due to other developmental disorder especially under the age of five.
Dr Raja Juanita Raja Lope Paediatrician consultant and Developmental Paediatrician, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur pointed out that children under the age of five, may have some other underlined developmental problems such as speech and language disorders, speech and language delays or global developmental delay — when all skills are below what is expected of a child’s age.
“And if you have a problem with other areas of development such as dyslexia, you will have attention issues as a secondary problem.”
According to Raja Juanita, part of the assessment is to look for other developmental difficulties.
“Often, you would find that when you improve certain areas such as speech and language delay which in itself causes attention problems, the child's attention would improve. That’s for the younger age group under five,” she said.
Early signs to look out for
Parents may notice early signs of hyperactivity where a child in unable to sit and play with one toy. They might just play with it for a minute or less and move on to the other. They may not even be able to sit still to watch a programme. However, you have to take the child's age into consideration as well.
“As ADHD is diagnosed in children who are older above the age of five, the main problem would be attention deficit and hyperactivity,” she added.
In such situations, the child’s speech and language and other developmental areas are fine, but the child would be easily distracted. Noise, different lighting, anything sensory can be a distraction.
Perhaps, he or she would be looking around in class, getting up and walking around, may be very impatient and impulsive in the sense that they aren’t aware of danger; which are the key features of ADHD as well.
"They will not listen and tend to interrupt often, besides having difficulties completing a task. Everything that requires more thinking —it is not that they can’t do it— as the primary diagnosis of ADHD is that the child’s skills are pretty much age appropriate, but the attention may interfere with the ability to learn and function in different settings."
Children with ADHD may also have problems with social skills as they are overly enthusiastic or rough.
How can parents and teachers help a child with ADHD
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