Early intervention for children with ADHD and spectrum issues – Why the parents tend to ignore?


Every parent once gifted with a child want to ensure that the child has a normal growth in life and lives and behaves like all other kids on the street. Although we all desire for that but sometimes we may have kid in our home or family who could be little different from the other kids around. Very often we tend to brush off those differences as “just a matter of time” thing and overlook. As time passes by, we start observing the manifestations of the differences more frequently. By the time the child starts going to school we realise through many feedbacks and complaints that the child is not behaving normally as per the societal and school rules. Those are the times when panic hits us and we start looking all over the place for some help or solution.

Before we delve into the topic of spectrum issues let us be very clear that all of us, more or less, will be falling on any portion of the spectrum and that’s quite okay. None of us are perfect in everything and all of us have lots of room for improvement in one thing or the other.

During the early years of a child between 1 to 2 years if you see that your child is not responding to stimuli around or his/her responses are different than other kids of the same age then you must make it a point to see an expert to consult about development delays and the further action on it. It may happen that everything can be absolutely fine but then never ever leave any chance to rule out the issues. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

It reminds me about a paediatrician from Bangalore who once told that he has a big regret in life. His close friend had once come to him asking for his advice on development delays about his kid and the Doctor had brushed it off stating that the child developments might be slower than others and it will be fine over the period of time. On that note the parents decided not to consult a psychologist and Spectrum disorder expert.  Later on, the manifestations increased as the child grew and when finally, they got to know about the disorder it was a bit late although not very late. From that incident onwards the respected Paediatrician made it a point to advice all his clients/parents to consult an expert whenever somebody came up to him with these development issues.

Many parents regret like the Doctor who tend to overlook the issues as and when they come to know about it. The very first reaction of a parent is. “No, it cannot happen with us or our kid.” This is a common trend that the parent fail to accept the fact that there can be development issues with the child. This becomes a big reason for starting the intervention and required occupational therapy which can even remove the issues completely. The second feeling that arises that what will the society think about us and the child. They actually take lot of time to let this feeling sink in that its okay to go ahead with therapies without bothering about the society or relatives.

You must understand and internalise one thing as a parent that the child’s well-being is the most important thing and what society or relatives or friends will think about it just useless. If you think  too much about the society then you are going to ruin the life of the kid whereas if you put right effort in his/her development, counselling and therapies then for sure the child will grow into a better adult in future, whom the society may look forward to.

The biggest mistake that we parents do in such cases is to delay the meeting with an expert counsel who can really guide us to better ways of handling the child’s growth and issues. We all know the saying that “a stitch in time saves nine” which is applicable for general day to day activities and commerce but believe me this is aptly applicable in cases of children with ADHD, ADD, ASD or development delays.

We all always wish and want the best for our kids and more often than not we become so love blind towards our children that even if we see an issue in them, we genuinely overlook with a feeling that all is okay with our kids and we need not worry. This is a blunder that most parents commit. The moment you observe yourself or you hear it from somebody else anything unusual about your child or you see any kind of behavioural issues then immediately you should make it a point to consult a spectrum disorder specialist. By doing so you will be doing all good to your child. If everything is fine as per the expert then you can relax and if there is an issue then you can start the therapies at the earliest to ensure that the child grows out the issue with the help of counselling therapies.

Never ever get bogged down by the feeling that why is it happening with me or with my child only. Your child might be gifted with other features along with the development issues. As said earlier we all will be falling into one or the portion of the spectrum, it’s just the matter of degree with which one is affected and impacted. So, in the end the suggestion is loud and clear that;

-        *  Don’t hesitate to speak to your paediatrician about anything unusual you observe about your child

-        *  Do meet an expert child psychologist to rule out the issues, if any

-        *  If the issue is confirmed then start the early intervention and occupational therapies as early as possible.

-          *Do not delay in starting the therapies as starting early will give better and faster results.