Many times have you thought that your child is too restless for his age, he is disobedient, never listen to you, not aware of what you say, he will not remain still for a second and always changing activity without finishing what he start. In addition, school teachers will have confirmed the same discomfort with the added difficulty relating to their peers and, perhaps, a school delays with respect to the other children.
It is likely that your child is hyperactive or, more correctly, suffering what is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a disorder that is characterized by three features: the impulsiveness, the hyperactivity (excessive body movement) and the lack of attention or difficulty to stay focused. If you suspect that this is his case you must take your child to a specialist to make a good diagnosis.
Hyperactivity is one of the most diagnosed disorders in childhood; it is estimated that suffers between 3-5% of children. Catch it early is important because it can prevent a large number of associated problems such as learning difficulties. The causes of this disorder are not yet well understood and can be varied (neurological, genetic or environmental), ways to treat it are very studied and their effectiveness is proven.
Treatments for hyperactivity
In the treatment of hyperactivity can be distinguished two types of therapies: the psychology and medical. The first can be without the second, but never the reverse. In medical therapy only they treat the symptoms, not the cause of the disorder, so there is no cure that is exclusively medical. What you do is control the behaviors that cause the child to have difficulty and allow lead a perfectly normal life. For this reason, the psycho therapy, which works directly on the child’s behavior and teaching new ways of doing things right is essential. Medical treatment is very useful as a complement to the above, especially when extreme hyperactivity can not take advantage of anything that is taught is given. The medication helps to reduce the motive agitation and allows him to attend and to understand better the indications that are given him.
Psycho-pedagogical therapy is to be effective it must be supported both techniques of behavior modification, teaching strategies that allow the child to be the driver of their behavior.
Within the training strategies are the most common: attentional strategies, problem solving and self-instruction. Also the self-control and relaxation give good results. The model of self-instruction, for example, it is to give the child a small number of instructions and marked to be guided to perform a task properly. By following these steps whenever he need to perform an activity gets great improvements as he learns how to organize the task, which largely avoids distraction, helps him focus on what’s important, improves performance and encourages the self-instructions since no focus only on how to do something (running), but addressing other important fields such as self-assessment and automatic reinforcement.
The techniques of behavior modification try to avoid inappropriate behavior by encouraging more appropriate forms of behavior. What they do is control the consequences, so that a proper conduct will be a “positive reinforcement”, i.e., a pleasant stimulus that makes repetition of such conduct. When the child exhibits inappropriate behavior, receives a “punishment”, an unpleasant stimulus, for example, running out of watching his favorite TV program, so that behavior gradually disappears.
But surely, what you most want to know is what does will affect your son have hyperactivity? And what you can do to help him? The main problem of child hyperactivity is no symptoms but what they cause, their consequences. The most common are:
- Due to the difficulty to pay attention: learning problems.
- Due to his restless and impulsive behavior: discipline problems, poor implementation of the tasks performed and difficulty relating to other children.
- Because we are continually being told off by his acting, accused of disobedience and the high rate of activities that leave half or performing poorly, very often with associated affective and emotional problems such as low self-esteem, dependency, low tolerance frustration, “learned helplessness”, depression, anxiety and aggression.
Fortunately, avoid these situations is in your hands. And I do not just mean that you can go to a specialist to implement all these techniques we’ve talked about but, above all, to the important work you can do at home to maintain a proper attitude. To do this, here are some tips:
- Establish rules to follow at home, clearly defining the limits. It is important to have consensus among parents.
- And offer it to your child about their behavior (feedback) that allows him to evaluate their performance.
- Whenever it acts of correct form reinforce his conduct positively. Reinforcement does not have to be a material prize, just a kiss or praise. If you punish him not forget that punishment should never be physical and that this by itself is useless, you should always teach alternative behavior (how it should have acted).
- Do not put him labels. If you are constantly hearing that “a disaster” increasingly will act more as such and also his self-image will be diminished, contributing to low self esteem and depression.
- Keep positive expectations. With your help your child can overcome anything. If you think he will do well too, your motivation will increase and be better able to deal with their problems.