Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Syndrome, Hans-guy-in-the-air, Psychoorganic Syndrome (POS), Hyperkinetic Syndrome (HKS), Attention-Deficit-Disorder (ADD), minimal brain syndrome, Behavioral Disorder with Attention and Concentration Disorder, Hans look into the air. ADHD, attention deficit syndrome, fidgety Philipp syndrome, fidgety Philipp, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Fidgety Phil. In contrast to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) comprises a very pronounced inattentive but by no means impulsive or hyperactive behaviour.
ADHD children are often referred to as dreamers and often appear mentally absent. In extreme situations it gives the impression that the “body shell” of the child is present, but nothing more! In order not to make an erroneous diagnosis, i.e. not to call all unfocused, “dreaming” children ADHD children in principle, a so-called observation buffer/observation period is placed before the actual diagnosis.
Conspicuous symptoms that suggest ADHD should have been shown repeatedly and above all in a similar way over a period of about half a year in different areas of the child’s life (kindergarten/school, at home, leisure time). In the ICD 10 Directory, the different types of ADHD are listed alongside other behavioural and emotional disorders with onset in childhood and adolescence under F90-F98. Even if dreaming and inattention in general seem to signal desinterest in the subject matter, this does not mean that ADHD children are generally not interested in class.
It also does not necessarily mean that ADD children are less gifted, because they too can be highly gifted. Due to the fact that – caused by the lack of concentration – gaps in knowledge arise, sooner or later problems in school areas may arise. Frequently the problems relate to the general condition, and it cannot be excluded that ADD children suffer from a partial performance disorder in the sense of dyslexia or dyscalculia.
Other mental illnesses are also conceivable and cannot be dismissed. Examples are: depression, tics, Tourette’s syndrome, etc. Children with an attention deficit syndrome are conspicuous by daydreaming and inattention and rarely behave impulsively.
The ability to concentrate is therefore also in this form of ADHD only at times. As a rule, this lack of concentration causes sometimes serious weaknesses in individual or several school areas. Children with attention deficits often suffer from a reading, spelling and/or arithmetic weakness.
Generally it is possible that an ADS child is also highly gifted. However, it is much more difficult to determine this giftedness. One of the reasons for this is that a “dreaming” child is often not trusted to be highly gifted.
A certain openness and knowledge of the symptoms of ADHD is therefore necessary. This is one of the reasons why intelligence diagnostics is often the basis for the diagnosis of ADHD. Just like giftedness, partial performance deficits (dyslexia, dyscalculia) can never be excluded, so that it may be necessary to diagnose in this direction as well.
A therapy for diagnosed ADHD should always be tailored to the individual needs of the child. If possible, it should be carried out holistically and affect all areas of the child’s education. Similar to ADHD, a child with ADHD requires a lot of care, affection and patience.
Blaming and insulting the children does not bring about a lasting change in behaviour and creates frustration on both sides. If consistent educational action as well as the setting up and observance of agreed rules works to some extent, the first hurdle is overcome and the basis for further therapeutic work is laid. As a rule, parents are a child’s most important caregivers, which means that they play a central and important role with regard to a child’s ability to observe.
Observation of the child within the shelter “family” can provide special information about the child’s behaviour. It is reported time and again that parents do not find it particularly difficult to recognise norm differences, but that they find it very difficult to admit observed behavioural deviations. This is understandable on the one hand, but one should be aware that these defensive mechanisms do not help a child.
The “blinkered thinking” in the form of: “This is already growing out” is not appropriate in any case. It is important to know that children who undoubtedly suffer from ADHD do not do so because parents may have made mistakes in their upbringing. ADHD is not the result of an educational deficit, even if it often seems so, but it can be negatively influenced by it.
The acceptance of the problems is an important aspect – not only in terms of a more objective diagnostic assessment, but above all in terms of therapeutic success. Parents who accept the problem will probably also approach therapy more positively and can therefore help their child much better. And that is what it should be all about in the end.
Especially the diagnosis of ADS is not easy. One of the reasons for this is that, due to the symptoms, ADHD children do not necessarily have to be negative in their behaviour. Because of their daydreams and their frequent mental absence they can be equated with shy children.
On the part of the educators and also the teachers, it requires a special openness towards this problem. However, it is also important to warn against excessive concern, because not every quiet and absent child has ADHD at the same time. In other words: ADHD should not be seen as an excuse for lack of drive or “buckles” in certain stressful situations.
Diagnosis is also made more difficult by the fact that although there are some symptoms that are typical of ADHD, the catalogue of possible behavioural symptoms is never complete, and not every symptom is necessarily present. It is therefore by no means a homogeneous disease (occurring in the same way and with always the same symptoms). For this reason, exact observations in advance are essential.
The observations must always relate to all areas of life (kindergarten/school, home environment, leisure time). The symptoms mentioned above can help to identify initial abnormalities. In general, it is assumed that the symptom fields already occur before school enrolment and show up regularly over a period of about half a year. As already mentioned above, the behaviour patterns can deviate significantly from the respective stage of development. A diagnosis should always be made comprehensively and thus cover the following areas:
- Interview of the parents
- Assessment of the situation by the school (Kiga)
- Preparation of a psychological report
- The clinical (medical) diagnostics