Attention deficit or selective care in ADHD

These days, it is common to deal with cases related to Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity Disorder, and parents are often anxious because years ago they had not heard of it. of this term as it does today; that is why they sometimes do not know how to handle such cases well.

When parents or teachers consult me: How can I keep him quiet because he spends a lot of time making noises and not letting the other kids focus? I usually tell them that asking them not to move or make noise is like asking you not to blink. These are children who have the will to obey, but they just can’t.

So the first thing we need to do is figure out what this disorder is, which affects both children and adults. Let’s see what the lack of attention.

Attention and attention deficit

Let’s start with the basics. What is attention? It is a process of selective concentration on one or more discrete units of information about environmental elements or thoughts in which other units of information are ignored.

In the case of attention deficit, what happens is that the subject focuses his attention on attractive, useful or significant information, according to criteria that do not always correspond to what is socially expected of each situation and context. It is therefore not a question of attention deficit, but of selective attention. In other words, these people unwittingly focus on details that, in the eyes of others, should be ignored.

For this reason, parents report appearing “deaf”. This is because the term fictitious deafness is used because they only listen to what they find to be of interest or benefit, and can sometimes be distracted by their own thoughts. We all have dreams and yearn for things, but we learn to control our dreams in a way that doesn’t affect our performance; people with attention deficit do not achieve this control, however and they often fantasize or daydream about times when very concrete actions are expected of them.

Different priorities and selective attention

Add to that, behaviors that affect the organization and the feeling of priority are presented make people with ADD easily forget their obligations, as well as lose toys, books, school supplies or clothing. Difficulty managing time is also common, leading to them being punctual or incomplete.

Likewise, obeying orders is often complicated if an instruction contains multiple actions or steps, as they either fail to hold it back unless it is raised very clearly, or they make mistakes for lack of attention to detail.

Main symptoms of attention deficit

Now let’s see how attention deficit is expressed.

Impulsivity in Attention Deficit

Outraged, many of these people have problems with impulsivity. This is in addition to the symptoms of inattention, but is in part a consequence of it.

I usually explain to parents that as we get older, we learn to use, without realizing it, the regulatory brakes, that is to say we learn when to give our opinion and when to shut up, When to intervene in any matter and when to keep our distance; even though we feel the need to get involved, we need to slow down to foster healthy relationships or achieve assigned goals or tasks.

However, in the case of children with this disorder, they feel the urge but cannot stop it, they have no brakes to regulate their desires (impulsivity). Therefore, the usual behaviors can be: interrupting people and not stopping talking, touching and playing with everything they see, saying inappropriate comments, using lies to get out of the way, answering before the question is finished. or show difficulty saving round in group activities.

Also, the attention deficit affects these people by making them seek to quickly change activities to be carried away by other more striking interests and which do not require continuous efforts, but very probably not priorities, forcing them not to do their housework and chores.


Add to that, people with attention deficit need to release excess energy they have (hyperactivity)Thus, they are usually kept in motion or constantly twisting in one place, or are constantly on the lookout for new activities that interest them. Insomnia is also common. They prefer to stand or “run”, which is why they prefer “active” play activities, quiet games are generally not to their liking.

It is also common for them to tend to entertain themselves with their own body (hands, arms, hair, mouth, etc.), which involves making sounds or noises that disturb others.

Frustration tolerance

Finally, people with attention deficit disorder have a low tolerance for frustration. As a result, they tend to be very impatient, leading to inappropriate rebuke and expressions of anger. This often makes them sound like explosive, anxious or frustrated people.

How is ADHD diagnosed?

Therefore, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that involves immaturity in the systems that regulate attention span, impulsivity, and movement. An important fact is that it belongs to the disorders of onset in infancy, childhood or adolescence, that is, the symptoms must be presented before the age of twelve to enter this category.

A very common question asked by parents is: How exactly is ADHD diagnosed?

In these cases, it is preferable to consult a professional (child psychiatrist, pediatrician, neurologist), who conducts an interview with the parents and then assesses the child. Only such specialists can make a diagnosis, and they should do so after a personalized examination. The questions that are usually asked during the interview are as follows:

  • What’s your mood most of the time?
  • Do you find it difficult to maintain order and / or organize yourself?
  • Is it usually punctual?
  • Are there people in the family with similar characteristics?
  • Is their behavior the same at school, at home, and in other settings?
  • Have you had any problems since you were little?

too much may delve into the history of pregnancy and childbirth or request medical examinations to rule out another cause.

Diagnostic aid

In short, if it is true that it sometimes takes time to establish the diagnosis, these are not complicated tests, it is always preferable to provide the professional with the most honest and precise information possible.

Often, parents do not accept that their children have difficulty and believe that withholding information avoids the diagnosis. This only complicates the intervention on attention deficit problems.

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