‘Children with ADHD are not misbehaving’

Posted on June 13, 2016

Around the globe, between 6 to 7 per cent of children are diagnosed with ADHD, making it the most commonly diagnosed paediatric neurodevelopmental disorder. It is associated most frequently with inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Now, a new research paper adds a vital new dimension to the existing literature on ADHD. It looks at an understudied core of the condition: an acute difficulty in adapting to changing situations (a child, for instance, might continue to talk to his classmates even after lessons begin). And one that can help give caregivers and educationists an insight into the condition.

The results, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, were unambiguous. While children with ADHD initially did develop a bias toward the more frequently-rewarded colour and later shifted their bias to the new colour, “this shift was significantly smaller” than in children without ADHD, says the paper, adding that “This indicates poorer behavioral adaptation to changing reinforcement contingencies in children with ADHD.”

In other words, children without ADHD were more willing to “abandon a pattern of behavior that is no longer effective, reinstating a previously effective strategy”. Children with ADHD, on the other hand, were “persisting with an unsuccessful strategy.”

The research reminds parents and teachers “that children with ADHD are not deliberately misbehaving, and that they may better adapt their behaviour to a given situation if they are made aware or reminded of the expectations of a given situation and also warned/reminded when these expectations change”. In a way, it gives parents and teachers “permission to provide more support or scaffolding to help children with ADHD adapt their behaviour to the different and changing situations they find themselves in,” Prof. Tripp told The Hindu.

To read the full article, click the link below.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from The Hindu

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