ADHD in Preschool Children

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ADHD in Preschool Children

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among preschool children should be addressed instantly. Otherwise, it may adversely affect the future mental health and social reciprocity of a child with ADHD. That is why an appropriate diagnosis, follow-up treatment, and behavioral correction are evidently pivotal. Addressing ADHD, however, should take into account specific age considerations and factors of psychosocial development of this disorder. Thus, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in preschool age is a serious disorder, which requires immediate interventions, behavioral correction, and counseling.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder emerges early and can be categorized as neurodevelopment disorder. Conditions of its onset and development can be different: certain disruptions during the child’s prenatal or neonatal period, environmental harms, and just low-standard psychosocial settings (Halperin, Bedard, & Curchack-Lichtin, 2012). Prenatal state can be worsened with inappropriate diet and environmental influences as well as with substance abuse. However, psychosocial settings are the strongest factor in that regard, as they facilitate the development of the disorder in a socio-cultural context (Halperin et al., 2012). Absence of social well-being negatively impacts children with ADHD, so this aspect should be primarily addressed. In terms of the incidence and epidemiology of ADHD within the United States, it does not exceed 3-5% of all preschool children (Cooke, 2010). This disorder is chronic but treatable, which is why an adequate care should be provided. There has been little agreement on whether ADHD can be regarded as an independent disorder, but common practice suggests that this condition has its distinct symptoms and patterns of development (Cooke, 2010). One of such patterns is absence of normal social settings for a child’s neural development, so that families with low social standards often neglect care of children with ADHD, or this condition develops during the early years.

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Concerning a diagnosis process congruent with a preschool age, an approach of five steps should be applied. First of all, recognition of specific diagnostic criteria should be indicated, as it is applicable to any age and can be easily observed (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). The second step is verification of potential co-occurring mental disorders, such as sleep disorder, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, disorder of self-conduct, etc. This factor is pivotal, as identification of any accompanying disorder determines a subsequent approach to the child’s treatment (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). The third step is specification of functional impairments and identification of the most persistent dysfunction. Those can include reciprocal problems, academic performance, family functioning, or basic routine adaptive skills. At the fourth step, a behavior rating scale is applied to match a child’s condition to standards of care aimed at behavioral assistance (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011). Finally, the fifth step involves the determination of the prevalence of medical abnormalities associated with ADHD, which is required before specific means of medical treatment can be assigned.

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As soon as the diagnosis is completed, a follow-up treatment should take place. Medication treatment is often argued to cause multiple adverse effects in children but be exclusively effective for adults. That is why the cases of preschool children are usually addressed with behavioral correction and related dieting requirements depending on the specifics of a diagnosis (Sroubek, Kelly, & Li, 2013). At any rate, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is best approached within a behavioral domain, where psychosocial factors play the most significant role (Sroubek et al., 2013). Participation of parents, family, and counselors can improve the situation towards much better adaptability and behavioral control of a child with ADHD (Sroubek et al., 2013). In such a way, improved psychosocial factors can trigger behavioral correction and even change a child’s condition for the better, which makes socio-cultural constraints also essential for a follow-up treatment.

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Cultural constraints are especially vital in cases of ADHD, since an absence of a certain cultural framework as a way of controlling the behavior of a child with this disorder considerably thwarts practitioners in their attempts at a successful intervention. Fostering the standard norms of behavior and social reciprocity is essential (Weiss, Baer, Allan, Saran, & Schibuk, 2011). In particular, the culture of digital communication is extremely important in such cases. Namely, the access to the Internet and various gadgets by children with ADHD should be limited, as this disorder is a basis for a strong development of the Internet addiction and, therefore, a severe form of ADHD in the future (Weiss et al., 2011). This makes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder the main risk factor for accompanying disorders. Active participation of parents is mandatory in that regard, as they can serve a function of the main agents of intervention and observation. This guidance is related not only to so-called screen culture but also to other cultural aspects that may facilitate further development of ADHD or make its management more difficult (Weiss et al., 2011). As it has been already mentioned, the provision of the basic socio-cultural welfare is particularly important for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and family plays the primary role in this respect.

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To conclude, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is an infrequent condition, but its adequate diagnosis and treatment require complex efforts of mental health professionals, counselors, and parents of children diagnosed with such disorder. Thus, psychosocial factor should not be disregarded, as the presence of socio-cultural well-being, healthy upbringing, and behavioral correction comprise the treatment and improve adaptivity of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also, it is worth saying that this disorder can be approached with medications, but it is not recommended for preschool children because of numerous side effects and persistence of the aforementioned psychosocial factor that triggers development of certain behaviors.