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Hyperactivity, what is it? What are the causes of ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder characterized by continual restlessness in children. Called ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), it affects 5% of children. It is in fact a dopamine dysfunction, a brain neurotransmitter that affects concentration, attention and motor skills. In general, the older the child, the more motor restlessness decreases, although difficulties may persist in adults. Be careful, however, do not confuse a turbulent child with hyperactive. Not all agitated children are affected by hyperactivity. It should also be noted that boys are four times more affected than girls.

ADHD is defined on the basis of the various symptoms of attention deficit, motor hyperactivity and impulsivity. These symptoms cause functional discomfort in the child at school, during leisure activities or at home.

What are the signs and symptoms of an overactive child? How to detect them?

Difficulty concentrating, easily distracted, impulsiivne, disobedient, sometimes aggressive… The symptoms of ADHD are manifold. At school, a hyperactive child finds it difficult to sit still, lacks precision and cannot maintain his attention in both work and play. Lonely and sometimes asocial, he often disrupts the class. Rejected by his comrades and considered a dunce by the teachers, he unfortunately often fails at school. Faced with the difficulty of containing a child with ADHD, family relationships can also suffer. A child in care will nevertheless have every chance to flourish and continue with normal schooling. It is therefore advisable to consult specialists in lastepsühhiaatria ja neuropsychiatrie to verify that the symptoms are those of ADHD and to take care of the child as soon as possible.

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How to calm attention disorders?

Psychological care for children with this disorder is essential. The kognitiivne ja käitumuslik teraapia (TCC) shows good results. This aims to modify the behavior of the child by teaching him to fix his attention and to think before acting, he who is often impulsive. This therapy will allow the child to become aware of his capacities by helping him to have confidence while he often considers himself inferior to others. It is also a good way for parents to learn to manage their child’s not always easy behaviors.

ADHD rehabilitation: speech therapy or psychomotricity

Hyperactivity is often associated with other disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia (difficulty performing graphic gestures), dysorthography (trouble learning spelling rules), dyscalculia (problem learning to count) or dysphasia (verbal communication disorder). A meeting with a Kõneterapeut will therefore correct his learning disabilities of oral and written language. the psühhomotoorne will try to regulate his impulsiveness and aggressive reactions. Often disordered, the hyperactive child also suffers from coordination problems which can be improved during sessions with these specialists.

Treatment of hyperactivity in children with methylphenidate

Ravi Metüülfenidaat (marketed under the name Ritaline®, Concerta®, Quasym®, Medikinet®) improves the attention and performance of certain children. While its molecule is close to amphetamine, it has opposite effects in some hyperactive people and calms their agitation. Studies show that 60 to 80% of children treated would respond positively to treatment. It does not cure, but it stimulates the central nervous system by increasing concentration. It cannot be prescribed by a specialist (neurologist, pediatrician or psychiatrist) to children aged 6 and over in addition to psychological, educational and social care. But like any drug, it has significant side effects that must be taken into account in order to establish the benefit / risk balance of such treatment.

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What about treatment with Methylphenidate (marketed under the name Ritalin®, Concerta®, Quasym®, Medikinet®)? The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) has released a report providing an inventory of its use and safety in France.


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