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"My child is hyperactive!" (Restlessness in Children)

Chinedu is a child who is always active, cannot pay attention to what is being said to him and does everything without thinking of the consequences of his actions. He is always on the move and exercises zero restrain, touching objects within his reach and exhausting all caregivers around him. He is easily distracted, does not finish tasks and often talks excessively. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD).

Research findings by Russell Barkley shows that on average, there are 1 to 3 children who have ADHD in every classroom of 30 students and 3 to 6 more boys are diagnosed than girls. This implies that there are more children with ADHD than we want to think...alarming! Many researchers agree that the problem of restlessness is in the growing brain of the child where the ability to withhold responses develop unusually later than normal but specific causes are not categorically known.
Parents are advised to;

  • notice the behavioral pattern of their child
  • get educated on the nature of special needs for the child
  • support the caregivers who are challenged by this experience by giving more useful information on managing the child
  • explain the importance of the teacher's behavioral responses around the child. This is absolutely important because the reaction of the teacher/caregiver is relevant to academic and social improvement.
Some ADHD get better with age especially in mild cases studies suggest. About half may manage their behavior, between 33% to 50% will continue till they are adults. The most persistent type of behaviors displayed are in learning challenges and disobedience.

I understand that many parents are unaware of this condition in our country. Those who know may not be totally accepting of it. If a parent finds that they have a special-needs child, it certainly isn't out of place to get the caregivers and the school fully involved. If parents provide complete information about their child, a lot more children will be successful at school. No one should be worried about them being treated with special attention, when that's exactly what they require. It is important to note that ADHD can be mostly outgrown, the essence of this piece is to improve the learning potential of our children.