It was an unfortunate day when my kid started vomiting after every meal and completely lost his appetite. After waiting for 4days, we visited his paed and found the cause of it. He was disturbed by the worms inside her tummy and the reason for it was excessive intake of sugar and chocolates. The medicine was given and with that an advice was given to me to visit a psychologist for him. I was surprised. Why on earth does a 3year old need a psychologist when he is continuously attaining all his milestones at normal ages? The paed told me that he is a bit more active than others. Before going to anyone, I searched the internet for anything related to overactive babies which can need psychological treatment and found about ADD and ADHD. I was half convinced since I could familiarise with the symptoms given. My husband's and inlaws' reaction was like my kid has become autistic, he needs medication or rigorous counselling etc. They panicked like hell. I kept cool because I knew this was something that atleast 70% babies have but most of them correct themselves naturally with time and few need treatment.
One day, I got the appointment and visited psychologist with my kid. At first the psychologist wanted to talk to me alone about the background of the problem. I told her everything that I felt important. Then she called my son to talk alone. After sometime she called me and my mom, who accompanied me, inside her chamber. She told us that my son is suffering from ADHD. I was not even surprised this time as I was expecting this. I was just waiting to know about the kind of treatment he requires. She said, it is just some changes required in my parenting style right now and other family members should also cooperate. If nothing changes his behaviour after following her advices for one month then he may be given some medicine to calm down his overactive nerves and consult child psychiatrist. I was fully convinced then.
As I decribed this meeting to my inlaws, I was blamed for ADHD as if I wanted my child to suffer from psychological problem. I was blamed for being a bad mom and always indulging him into mobile phones, giving him less time and so on... I made it clear that none of these cause ADHD. God knows whether they have understood or not but they are not discussing anything about it after that day.
Following are the things which I understood from my experience and doctor's advice:
- ADHD is not caused by bad parenting or giving less time to a toddler. I know a homemaker mom who has no other things to do but is just looking after her baby since all her daily chores are done by her family members, her child is suffering from ADHD as well.
- ADHD is not caused by watching TV or videos on mobile phones etc. But once ADHD is detected, the child should be asked to do more physical activities than watching TV etc. This is because we should use up and channelise their extra energies towards something constructive.
- ADHD children should be given ample space and time to run and do physical excercise to exhaust them. This excercise may be related to homely chores also. They can be asked to collect empty bottles from each room and deposit near water purifier etc.
- ADHD children can never be expected to sit in a corner and do their work calmly. But if their extra energies are already drained off then they will listen to the instructions given quite peacefully. They should be encouraged to do their work themselves as far as possible so that they remain engaged in self dependence process.
- The rules made for them should be followed diligently by all the family members. Uniformity should be there for everything that matter to them.
- Scolding, hitting etc is a no for them. Disciplining them will require more patience and determination about not allowing them to do something they love if they don't follow instructions.
- ADHD children do not generally like to finish meals sitting at one place. This should be stopped and all the family members should have their meal together so that these children can copy others and practise sitting at one place and finish their meals.
- Most importantly, ADHD children MUST NOT be given any COCOA products. Be it chocolates, coffee, chocos, any health drinks or cakes of chocolate flavour etc. Chocolates and sugary products energize them more and they become more active because of this.
- Lastly, playing video games is not be allowed to ADHD children since this enhances their motoring skill above average and they expect real life to move as fast as video games items. If they watch TV, monitoring should be done by parents so that they don't build a bad taste since they are generally fast learners and will easily pick up the wrong things.
I have seen many hyper active babies since my childhood, I am sure everybody has. Earlier no one could think of any treatment for such babies. They converted into quiet and calm persons over the time. Today we become impatient so we visit psychologist, psychiatrist etc. Asking for their help is good, even better, but panicking and pressurising the young ones to become like another one who doesn't have ADHD is a nonsense. I do not support waiting for the time to heal for anything related to kids but before starting any medication to them, I request the parents to be sure that such medicines do not have any side effects.