Every day I read in forums, article comments and social networks a lot of anguished moms stating emphatically that their baby is hyperactive.
Babies under one year of age or under 2 years old are diagnosed by their parents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with a frightening lightness. However, experts and clinical manuals make it clear: a baby cannot be hyperactive, yes, it can be a high demand baby.
Over the last few years I have found myself in the need to read and learn a lot about hyperactivity, I have spoken with psychologists and neuropaediatricians, I have attended talks and I keep up to date on all the new information about it. Therefore, every time I speak lightly and without much knowledge about this disorder, which is often the case, my hairs stand on end.
Still, despite all the information available, there are many myths related to hyperactivity and a lot of misinformation. Normal on the other hand, only those who live it closely or work it, know the problem.
The first of the common myths is to label ADHD as a disease. Nothing is further from the truth, it is not a disease nor can it be cured with treatment. It is a disorder that affects behavior and is never cured, but this behavior can be redirected when it is affecting the academic or social life of the child. Current treatment can be behavioral, pharmacological, or both at the same time.
Another common myth or mistake among many parents is to lightly diagnose or affirm that their child is ADHD because they are nervous or restless. Without a diagnosis by a neuropediatrician or a psychopedagogue, they label the child as hyperactive. Although it is true that many parents make this statement because they know their child better than anyone and subsequently obtain that diagnosis from an expert, it is not possible to make that diagnosis in the baby's first years or months. That is, a baby cannot be hyperactive.
Children of 1, 2, or 3 months have a nervous, restless, disobedient, fidgety or tantrum behavior because they are babies. They are discovering, exploring, investigating, and testing themselves. Each baby is different, some are calmer and others are more nervous. What can be said is that the baby is in high demand.
Some babies sleep most of the night from the beginning, are calm, eat well, and do not cry much. Others, on the other hand, sleep little and badly, cry constantly, demand a lot of attention from their parents, eat badly ... They are high demand babies that put parents in check due to the high level of demand that their upbringing requires.
The term high demand baby exists and was coined by Dr. Sears after detecting that his fifth daughter was different from the others and behaved in a different way. The characteristics that these babies have are:
- They cry very insistently, more than other babies.
- They are almost hypertonic babies, that is, they are not usually still and cannot hold onto chairs or baby carriersis.
- They sleep little and wake up many times, the slightest noise can wake them up.
- They are absorbent and demand a lot of attention from their parents or caregivers.
- Their parents try to find tricks to calm them or entertain them but nothing seems to work or if it works today, tomorrow it will not.
- They need a lot of attention when it comes to eating.
Perhaps your baby is in high demand and this leads you to classify him as a hyperactive baby. However, it is not possible to diagnose a baby as hyperactive. Clinical manuals set the age for diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at 7 years of age. Until the age of 6 or 7, children do not have a fixed pattern of behavior, they are forming their personality and they still do not have sufficient self-regulation mechanisms.
Nevertheless, Yes, you can begin to observe some warning signs from the age of 4, during preschool. Certain patterns of behavior in our children could put us on the clue that our child could be ADHD:
- They have tantrums with a high frequency and although they are growing they continue to show their disagreement with something through tantrums.
- He is careless and often loses things.
- Act then think, shows impulsive behaviors.
- He does not seem to listen when we speak to him, it is as if he is in the clouds.
- He usually has conflicts with his colleagues.
- When he wants something, he asks for it very insistently.
- He has outbursts of temper and this causes him problems at home and in nursery school.
- Her teacher often complains about her behavior in class, she doesn't accept class dynamics well.
- They are children who do not see danger and tend to act fearlessly.
- It is hard for him to wait his turn and accept orders.
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