Sunday, December 17, 2017

Attention Deficit Disorder – What Is It Anyway

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

As parents, many of us have spent sleepless nights wondering whether our kid is suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder. And with due cause too, most of us know the fundamental effects of the disease and obviously shrink at the thought of having to deal with it. Apart from the fear that the disease can be difficult to deal with there is always this subconscious guilt in most parents for being responsible for their kid’s problem, most of us blame ourselves for not being strict enough or disciplinarian enough to have straightened out the disorder. While all these apprehensions are quite normal they aren’t always what we might call rational or well-founded.

It seems there are about 3 broad stages in the normal development of a child. The very first one amongst these is observable in infants. During this time babies get occupied with a certain object or act and focus on it completely, thereby ignoring almost everything else. If the child’s development stalls at this specific point it might later show signs of autism.

At the second stage, observed in slightly older kids, the child is interested in a variety of things all at once and is therefore incapable of concentrating on any one of them for more than a few minutes. If the child stops at this stage of development he might later go on to suffer from what we conventionally know as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

The ultimate stage equips the child’s potentials to mature to a point where they can comfortably and voluntarily point their attention in a certain direction for a long period of time and can alter their choice of direction or their actions connected to it as and when they want or need. This stage therefore is a crucial transition stage which moulds the child for success in the classroom and the real world.

What most of us do not know is that ADD does not just make an individual incapable of concentrating on anything for a certain period of time; it also makes him/her incapable of deciding where they want to direct their attention and for how long. For instance, if an ADD sufferer is crossing the road, in spite of being tutored for like a few thousand times as to how to do so safely he/she is most likely to go about it suddenly without any care in the world as to what the status of the traffic is. All they know, vaguely that too, is that they need to cross the road, but after having remembered that they get quickly attracted by some other idea or thing and quickly to another, such that by the time they reach the opposite side (which in itself is quite a difficult task given their reckless behavior) they have probably dealt with a dozen bits of thoughts already!

On the opposite end, ADD also makes individuals focus on some specific object or act so completely that they get wholly consumed in it and are absolutely cut-off from everything else. They might therefore watch the same film again and again or read a specific page repeatedly with absolute nonchalance. Later this behavior might get molded into habits of over-eating or substance-abuse or compulsive behavior.

Another variety of ADD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, which keeps all its sufferers always on their toes, moving from one place to another doing something or the other unable to relax, incapable of settling down. Kids suffering from this can literally drive their parents insane and keep them up nights, trying to calm their child and put him to sleep.
While experience has led most Psychologists to conclude that ADD is not a problem the child will naturally grow out of (that is its not what can be termed self-healing) they have also quite vehemently ruled out any chance of the parent’s become responsible for causing it. So if your child is suffering from ADD quit blaming yourself, instead recognize the problem for what it is and contact a specialist as soon as possible.

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