From November, the ADHD specialist practice is available in our office, where Dr Péter Garas and Dr Gergely Mészáros child psychiatrists, as well as Eszter Kuncz special needs education psychologist, Fruzsina Radnai clinical psychologist and Sára Posta child and adolescent clinical psychologist candidate are waiting for registrations.
Child psychiatrists have gained vast experience in this field during their previous hospital work and have chosen this or a closely related area as the subject of their PhD thesis. Our special needs education psychologist, consulting psychologist colleague has considerable professional experience in the assessment of cognitive abilities, diagnosis of partial ability disorders and learning disabilities. If necessary, a child and adolescent clinical psychologist can also be involved in the assessment.
What are the characteristics of a child with ADHD?
ADHD is a shortened form of the term Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADHD is characterized by a high degree of inattention (attention deficit disorder), persistent impulsivity and restless behaviour (hyperactivity), as well as irregularities in cognitive development, which can cause specific abnormalities in higher level mental processes (flexibility of adaptation, inhibition of action, planning and execution).
The ADHD syndrome starts in early childhood. Characteristic symptoms can be detected from around the age of two, usually causing significant difficulties until the end of adolescence, but in some cases persisting into adulthood.
Similar symptoms can be caused by other problems too (e.g. school immaturity, specific learning disability, delayed intellectual development, depression, sensory problems, or behavioural problems resulting from negative life events or family-environmental influences), therefore to make an accurate diagnosis it is very important to have an interview with a specialist, to observe the child, to have a psychological examination and it is also recommended to provide us with a kindergarten or school pedagogical opinion report written by a teacher who is in constant contact with the child. A complex examination will help to identify the direction of treatment, and thus we can hope for a satisfactory outcome.
What are the behavioural characteristics associated with ADHD syndrome?
The child is impulsive, restless, unable to control his/her behaviour, or not able to maintain or focus attention. These symptoms are present in different situations (school, nursery, family, etc.).
The child can be restless, rambunctious, unruly, often accident-prone, messy, distracted, impatient, inattentive, staring, disturbing others with interruptive behaviour, boisterous, tired or seemingly inexhaustible in energy, not completing tasks, forgetful and underachieving.
As a parent, how can we notice that our child is showing symptoms of ADHD?
We can be suspicious if the child’s performance is extreme, uneven, has learning and behavioural difficulties, sometimes produces particularly good, other times very poor results. It can also be suspicious if the child is distracted, shows fluctuating emotions, behaves disorderly, acts recklessly and inordinately and may have temper outbursts. At school, they may complain that the child’s grades are lower than his/her abilities, does not follow rules, disrupts class or simply his/her attention wanders, makes mistakes in what he/she knows, and is unable to complete tasks and to set priorities.
The characteristics are individual, but their difficulties and life histories show a characteristic pattern, which is the task of the specialist to identify and evaluate the information.
TIME factor is important
Time is an important factor in the diagnosis and in the impact on later life. As time passes, problems may worsen, and, secondarily, negative self-evaluation, lack of motivation, hopelessness, mood and anxiety disorders may develop. Somatic (physical) symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, etc. may also appear, difficulties in managing life may become characteristic in adulthood, and other associated psychiatric conditions may draw attention to the problem.
Taking your child to a specialist is crucial
It is extremely important that the child should be seen by a specialist, a child psychiatrist, in order to make a diagnosis and to complete the necessary assessment. The latter is also important because some developmental methods can be applied more successfully within certain age limits, and cooperative abilities may vary with age.
With the help of a timely diagnosis and appropriate further treatments (e.g. behavioural therapy, medication, parental consultation, various developmental measures, psychotherapy, etc.), the aim is to reduce the disturbance of the psychological development and to preserve the harmony of the development of personality.