I had the wonderful opportunity of conducting a workshop on ‘ADHD in Children and Adolescents’ at Learning Arc, Koramangala (Bangalore) on 13 December 2015. The centre which is owned and run by Ms Sima Bhushan saw a sizeable number of parents and teachers attend the workshop. Considering it was a Sunday morning the large group indicated the magnitude of the issue we have at hand and the importance of addressing it.
The workshop began with a basic introduction to the concept of attention before exploring the different ways in which attention difficulties manifest in children and adolescents. In the DSM-5, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is defined as having three presentations:
- Inattentive presentation
- Hyperactive-Impulsive presentation
- Combined inattentive & hyperactive-impulsive presentation
I went on to discuss the causes, risk factors, intervention strategies for different age groups and coexisting conditions. Lifestyle changes that aid attention span were also explained. Two topics which garnered maximum interest were medication for ADHD and behaviour modification programs using behaviour charts.
Attention difficulties are complex. With the current trend of over-, mis- and under-diagnosing it is all the more important for parents, teachers, special educators and related professionals to meet and exchange ideas. As discussed during the workshop, the adverse impact on social, psychological, physiological and mental capabilities of an individual with untreated attention difficulties is high. But with appropriate intervention a child can be assured an easier journey forward.