Hyperkinetic syndrome today is one of the most common behavioral disorders in children and adolescents. According to various sources, this diagnosis is made from about 3 to 20% of students who come to see a pediatrician. According to clinical manifestations, it can be confused with poor behavior, anxiety or temperament, as one of its main symptoms is increased activity.
However, thanks to some striking features, specialists can differentiate this violation. We learn its symptoms, as well as how to diagnose and treat ADHD.
Hyperkinetic syndrome. Definition and prevalence in children
Hyperkinetic syndrome is one of the most common behavioral disorders encountered in childhood and adolescence. Like many other emotional disorders, it is manifested by excessive activity and anxiety. It is also often called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD for short).
Usually this violation occurs in children of primary school age. From seven to twelve years, its frequency ranges from 3 to 20% of small patients. And in the first years of life, ADHD is much less common - in 1.5–2% of children. At the same time, it manifests itself in boys about 3-4 times more often than in girls.
As already mentioned, hyperkinetic syndrome in children is manifested primarily by increased activity and excitability. Usually this occurs already in the primary school period. But often the symptoms are already observed in the third or fourth year of life.
If we talk about the first manifestations of the syndrome, we can note an increased sensitivity to irritants that occurs even in infancy. Such children react more sharply to bright light, noise or temperature changes. Also, ADHD syndrome is manifested by motor anxiety during wakefulness and in sleep, resistance to swaddling and other symptoms.
In primary school age, the following symptoms occur:
- Stray attention. The child is not able to concentrate on any subject, cannot listen to the teacher for a long time.
- Impaired memory. Because of ADHD, a younger student is worse at learning the curriculum.
- Impulsiveness. The child becomes excitable and fussy. Often this is expressed by the inability to listen to the end, to wait for their turn. The child’s actions are often unmotivated and unexpected.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Emotional disorders: short temper, aggressiveness, causing behavior or, on the contrary, causeless tearfulness.
It should also be noted that many children of primary school age have problems with coordination of movements. This is manifested in difficulties with writing, coloring, tying shoelaces. There are violations of spatial coordination.
Causes and Factors Affecting the Occurrence of ADHD
The appearance of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is influenced by many factors:
- Various complications of pregnancy. Severe and prolonged toxicosis or high blood pressure in a future mother can trigger ADHD in a child.
- Wrong lifestyle during pregnancy. In all likelihood, it is no secret to anyone that drinking alcohol or smoking can adversely affect the laying of organs and systems of the unborn child (including the nervous system). Also, factors that provoke hyperkinetic syndrome include heavy physical work or stress.
- A prolonged or too quick birth can also negatively affect the development of the baby.
- The social factor. Behavioral problems and increased irritability are often a reaction to adverse conditions in the family or at school. Thus, the body tries to cope with a stressful situation. By itself, this factor is not able to cause ADHD, but can significantly increase its symptoms.
However, the only and reliable cause of hyperkinetic syndrome has not yet been identified.
ADHD or temperament?
Often, when a child finds impulsiveness and excessive activity, parents suspect him of ADHD. However, do not forget that every child has his own temperament. For example, the characteristic features of choleric are just impulsiveness, temper and temper. And young sanguine people often have an inability to concentrate on one lesson and a need to often switch from one type of activity to another.
Therefore, before sounding the alarm, it is worth taking a closer look at your baby: maybe his behavior is just a manifestation of temperament. In addition, the features of primary school age suggest a small amount of memory and low stability of attention. These characteristics improve gradually as they grow older. Also at this time, restlessness and impetuosity are often observed. A child of 7 years old cannot concentrate on one thing for a long time.
Another thing is that with ADHD these symptoms are much more pronounced. If increased activity is accompanied by distracted attention and significant impaired memory or sleep, it is better to seek help from a specialist.
How is ADHD detected today? To make sure of its presence, as well as to find out if it accompanies another, more complex disease, it is necessary first of all to consult a pediatric neurologist. A comprehensive survey will include several stages.
First of all, it involves subjective diagnosis. The doctor examines the child and conducts a conversation with parents, during which the features of the course of pregnancy, childbirth and the infant period are clarified.
After this, the child is offered to undergo several psychological tests. Thus, attention, memory and emotional stability are evaluated. To ensure that the examination is objective, such tests are carried out only in children older than five years.
The final stage of diagnosis is electroencephalography. With its help, the activity of the cerebral cortex is evaluated, possible violations are recorded. According to the results of the study, the doctor can make a diagnosis and, if necessary, prescribe treatment. An experienced specialist takes into account the characteristic features of primary school age and can distinguish them from the manifestations of the disease.
Since the symptoms of hyperkinetic syndrome usually occur even in kindergarten, it is very important that educators are also able to diagnose it. By the way, educators often pay attention to this problem earlier than parents.
What is hyperkinetic cardiac syndrome?
There is a disease with a similar name, which does not affect behavior. This is hyperkinetic cardiac syndrome. The fact is that, in contrast to the behavioral disorder, which is ADHD, this is one of the manifestations of autonomic dysfunction, namely a violation of the heart. It occurs not in children, but mainly in young men. Since often this syndrome is not accompanied by any symptoms, it can be detected only with an objective examination.
As experts who study hyperkinetic syndrome notice, the treatment of this disorder should be comprehensive. One of its components is the use of medications. When correctly diagnosed, their effectiveness becomes very high. These drugs have a symptomatic effect. They suppress the manifestations of the syndrome and significantly facilitate the development of the child.
Drug therapy should be long, since it is important not only to remove the symptoms, but also to consolidate the effect. Do not trust folk remedies, because only a doctor can choose the best drug and prescribe effective treatment.
Another component of treatment for ADHD is psychological support. A child of 7 years old especially needs help, since the first school year is always difficult for both the student and parents. Especially if hyperactivity is observed. In this case, psychological correction is necessary to form the child’s skills in effective communication with peers and relatives.
It also involves close interaction with teachers and parents. The child needs constant care and support of the family, as well as the careful participation of teachers.
Does ADHD occur in adults?
Manifestations of ADHD are gradually reduced, starting from adolescence. Hyperactivity decreases first, and attention disorders last. However, in about twenty percent of people diagnosed with hyperkinetic syndrome, some of its symptoms persist in adulthood.
In some cases, there is a tendency to antisocial behavior, alcoholism and drug addiction. Therefore, the manifestations of ADHD must be promptly diagnosed and treated.
What should parents do if ADHD is detected in their child? Firstly, you need to create a favorable atmosphere in the house. It is very important to strictly adhere to the daily routine - so the child will be more calm and balanced.
Given that ADHD is manifested by increased activity, it is worth recording a child in the sports section. In general, any interesting hobby will significantly improve the state of the child. Communication with the child should be calm and friendly. But scolding and punishing is not worth it, since this still does not achieve anything, and the care, support and attention of parents play a very large role.