Attention Deficit Disorder: 8 steps to cure it in your child

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refers to a set of symptoms that include difficulty maintaining attention to stimuli, impulsivity, and high levels of anxiety that interfere with daily and academic tasks.

Not all children who are active, tend to be very restless or lose focus, have this diagnosis. To establish it, a thorough assessment by professional experts is necessary; choose and adapt the treatment that best suits the needs of children, their families and their environment.

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For Claudia Valencia, clinical psychologist and professor at the Konrad Lorenz University Foundation, comprehensive assessment and treatment are essential. “From a psychological point of view, the behavior they represent, the situations and effects in their environment are determined. In this way, it is possible to establish the conditions that give rise to a child’s behavior and the possible situations that favor the persistence and repetition of that behavior over time,” he said.

Based on this information, intervention plans are developed that include the child, family, school and other contexts involved.

Expert advice on how to manage it

  1. Set a clear and simple routine both at home and at school. Prefer a predictable environment where the child knows what to do step by step; useful to provide visual, auditory, clocks, agendas and timetables.
  2. Emphasize what the child is doing well. Congratulate him and highlight his efforts every day.
  3. Assign short, simple tasks that encourage the child’s self-efficacy and earn adult praise. Increase the difficulty to such an extent that the child can fluently complete the task.
  4. If a child is having difficulty completing a particular task, break it down into small steps and reward any progress towards the intended task.
  5. Use active listening. Be attentive to what the child expresses and understand his emotions. Listen calmly, showing him that he is understood and that he can receive unconditional support and love from his caregivers, regardless of his difficulties or mistakes.
  6. Avoid any comments that may offend the child: “you won’t succeed”, “you are bad”, “I don’t like you if you do something bad”, “the same thing always happens”, etc.
  7. Learn breathing exercises, mindfulness or meditation as a family. This will help the child identify their impulses, automatic behaviors, and attentional control.
  8. Finally, it is very important that parents and teachers have self-help and emotion management strategies that will help them better deal with day-to-day situations with children exhibiting this type of behavior.

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