A child who is diagnosed with ADHD may have many challenges. They also have many things that their brain is really good at doing. The brain of a child with ADHD may be very much like having a high performance motor in a car.
Do any of these sound familiar? Adventure seeking, low awareness of danger, high carbohydrate craving or falling asleep is difficult? Children may also struggle with low awareness of the feelings of others, Inability to focus or grinding their teeth while sleeping.
In some children overwhelm leads to very high levels of activity.
Working with ADHD is like having a high performance motor in a sports car when the brakes are meant for a bicycle. The problems happen when someone tries to slow down. In our nervous system, if we look at it in a simple model, we have a speed up system, a gas pedal and we have a slow down system, a brake pedal. The speed up system is also called the “fight or flight” or sympathetic nervous system. The slow down part is also called, “rest, digest, growth & repair” or parasympathetic system.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Another common set of signs include decreased physical coordination. This may also include significantly increased sensitivity to fabric, clothing and stitching or tags. Some children will only wear 1 or 2 soft items of clothing. There may also be increased sensitivity to sounds, lights and other stimuli. Children may complain of noises being too loud or they will put their fingers in their ears to block the noise.
Social engagement may also be decreased. Along with a marked lack of eye contact.
And different from above, where overwhelm leads to high activity, kiddos will simply shut down or disengage entirely.
The discussion around autism includes many areas of concern. Deficits in being able to engage socially and emotionally as well as very restricted areas of interest or activities that may include repetitive behaviors. Symptoms are present early in life and will impact social and occupational interactions. Intellectual disabilities may also be present.
Common topics discussed by parents reveal some similarities in the pregnancies and births of children who display such symptoms. Difficulty conceiving and a stressful pregnancy are often discussed when we are talking with parents. Moms and dads that come to our office frequently speak of birth interventions including difficult labor and delivery, cesarean section and vacuum extraction.