mother of a 5 year old boy came to me the other day in tears.
She said she just could not handle her son at all, he was aggressive,
violent, would hit her all the time if she tried to correct him.
Also this boy was extremely fidgety and I had a torrid time trying
to keep my clinic from being wrecked by him. His nursery teachers
had complained to the parents that their son never paid attention
in class and was difficult to handle. It was very clear to me
that the child was suffering from " Attention Deficit Hyperactive
IS ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ?
deficit disorder is a condition that refers to an individual's
inability to control their own behavior or impulses. These people
have great difficulty to focus on one thing at a time, they get
easily distracted by any stimuli like sound. This is a chronic
problem that first shows signs in early infancy and can extend
into adulthood. It becomes very evident when the child starts going
to school. He finds it very difficult to adjust to the structure
and demands of the classroom. This disorder is not only a real
challenge for the patient but also for his family and teachers.
This disorder can
be divided into two types-
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive
Disorder (ADHD) - the characteristics of this type is the hyperactivity
and aggressiveness seen in the child even before he reaches
the school age.
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- this is the less obvious type where the main symptom is that
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ?
It is still not
known what really causes this disorder but there are a few theories
which have been put forward. Some believe that it is a physiological
brain disorder with a genetic component. It is said to be related
to abnormalities in the nervous system and in the way the messages
are sent to and from the brain. There is some evidence to support
the fact that this disorder is an inherited one from parent to
child. It is more prevalent in boys than in girls.
feel that a foetus exposed to drugs, alcohol, amphetamines and
heroin, also premature infants are at more risk than the others
to develop this disorder.
ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER?
These children can
show a variety of symptoms but the most common ones have been listed
- Hyperactivity is
the most common symptom of this disorder. It can be manifested
in various forms like constant fidgeting with objects, moving
constantly. They are unable to control their actions. Some people
believe it has something to do with the diet. This has yet to
be proved but certain foodstuff like excess of SUGAR in any
form, caffeine, chocolates should be avoided.
- Inattentiveness is
the other most common complain of the teachers and parents.
The child is very easily distracted and has no power to focus
on one thing for a long time. The child has a short attention
they find it hard to control their behavior. This is nothing
but an over exaggeration of emotions with difficulty in calming
them. For instance when they are excited, they become overly
excited. When they are unhappy, they become very hard to soothe
- Aggressive and disruptive, these
children can be physically violent and throw things, hit or
strike others etc..
- Memory, they
might have trouble remembering things, following directions
and completing tasks. In some cases the child may have disabilities
in understanding math, reading, or written language.
- Late physical maturity, this
can cause difficulty in adjusting to the peer group and the
child may develop a complex.
The reason I have
listed all these symptoms is so that parents can pick up early
signs of this disorder in their own children and treat it appropriately.
HOW IS ATTENTION
DEFICIT DISODER TREATED ?
Lots of parents
are confused as to how they should handle their child who is suffering
from this disorder. They don't understand whether to be strict
or give in to them. My advise to these parents are to be both loving
at the same time very strict. The child should receive correct
instructions from one parent and all the other members of the family
have to adhere to that. For instance if the mother tells the child
that he has to finish his food before he goes down to play then
he has to listen to that. He may throw a tantrum, scream and shout,
but he should be ignored by all the family members till he comes
around and listens to his mother. At the same time whenever he
does something he has been told to he should be rewarded with love
and affection. This makes it very clear in his mind what he needs
to do and how to behave. Never confuse the child by one parent
saying something and the other saying exactly the opposite. There
should be only one lawmaker and everybody has to support that person,
either the mother or father. Also remember that children are highly
impressionable at a tender age and absorb things like a sponge
so watch out for your own behavior in the house and the way you
deal with people because your child is learning from you. CONSISTENCY
is the key to bring up your child, you have to be consistent with
your orders and also with your love and affection.
It is very important
to take your child to a psychologist to assess the severity of
the disorder and get some counseling. The parents must maintain
an open communication with all the professionals involved with
their child including the doctor and teacher.
The school teacher
is an important part of the child's treatment. She/ he should make
a few modifications like making the child sit near her or him,
giving instructions clearly and making sure the child understands
them. You must make a deal with your child or pact that if he does
something you want him to you will give him something he wants.
This batter system has proven to be a very effective way to make
the child understand his duties.
The aim of giving
medication is to -
- lengthen the attention span
- decrease distraction so that
the child can focus on one thing at a time
- provide more opportunity for
- reduce the amount of hyperactivity
- reduce the amount of aggressiveness
There are many different
types of medication available for Attention Deficit Disorder in
the allopathic system of medicine. But each one has its own group
of side effects, one worse than the other. Unfortunately in some
severe cases it even be needed along with the Homoeopathic remedies.
These are mostly drugs like Anti-depressants, Psychostimulants,
Antihypertensives etc…… The commonest drug given is
known as Ritalin.
All of these have
a number of side effects like loss of appetite, restlessness at
night, lethargy. The child may become dull and listless. He may
refuse to do any physical activity, there may also be drowsiness.
A study published
by the British Homoeopathic Journal, Oct 1997. This study showed
that the children afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder who
were given Homopathic medicine responded very well rather than
those given placebo. There was a marked reduction in the ADHD behavior
from these children.
The best remedy
for the child in Homoeopathy is always the Constitutional one.
By that I mean the personality of the child unique only to him.
But along with this sometimes it may be necessary to give some
acute remedies to control an acute outburst from the child. Here
are some of the medicines frequently used in our practice.
The 5 year old child
whose case I narrated at the beginning was given this drug since
he matched all the symptoms of this remedy. This child is extremely
OVERSENSITIVE to everything, the slightest ache or pain is magnified
10 times. They just cannot bear pain in any form. This child will
not let you touch him and beg to be carried which calms him down.
They are fidgety, want to attract attention and will behave disruptive
till they get it. When are so hyperactive that they work themselves
to fatigue after which they get cranky and howl. They can throw
big temper tantrums and can get into such frenzy that they turn
blue in the face. In the fit of rage the child may even bang his
head against a wall, pull your hair out or hit you. They do this
because they know that this distresses you and they are getting
the attention they want.
Along with this
mental irritability a Chamo child suffers physically especially
with COLICS, diarrhoea, convulsions. They cannot tolerate even
the slightest PAIN. They will scream, howl bring the whole house
down when in pain. The dentition period is most stressful for these
children. They demand many things from people around but when given
they will throw it away. All these problems are worse at night
for these children.
5 pills 4 times a day will bring about a change in behavior and
calmness to this child.
The best way to
describe a Cina child is always HUNGRY, CROSS, NERVOUS. They are
usually troubled with worm infestation which creates more irritability
in the body and mind of this child. They grind their teeth and
have a problem of bed wetting at night.
They are even restless
while sleeping by constant tossing and turning, jerking.
A cina baby will
tend to put his fingers constantly in his nostrils and rub the
nose hard. They will not stop picking at it till it bleeds. Like
chamomilla this child also hates to be touched or looked at and
can get very violent. Throw things about, hit anyone and behave
in an uncontrollable manner.
These children feel
better when they sleep on their abdomen and by being rocked. They
have an unnaturally large appetite and thirst. They love to eating
Cina 200, 5 pills
4 times a day will help get rid of the irritability in the body
This remedy is for
those children who have poor control over their impulses. They
can exhibit bizarre behavior at times like laughing at everything,
talking nonsense, doing silly and foolish things, acting like a
clown or monkey, running around naked.
They are very jealous
of their brothers or sisters, and can be violent towards them.
There is tremendous violent excitability which manifests itself
as rage, hitting, screaming, manipulation, inability to think.
These children feel
that they are abandoned by their parents and have many fears. They
are afraid of the dark, dogs, water, ghosts. They are very animated
and expressive in all their actions and want to be the center of
These children are
very hard to control and discipline but Hyoscyamus 200, 5 pills
4 times a day will make it easier.
Readers are advised
that the medical information offered in this column pertains to
generalized treatment of the condition. Kindly consult your Doctor