chapter  Twenty Two
22 Pages

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

Head-banging and body-rocking are examples of stereotypies - that is, spontaneous repetitive movement patterns that occur in young children, apparently without purpose. The child moves his head or torso rhythmically in a back-and-forth motion. Hyperkinetic disorder is a stricter category, and therefore applies to fewer children than attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many parents seem to prefer 'ADHD', perhaps because much of the literature available for parents uses the American terminology. The small number of children under six years who are treated with this drug can start with dexamphetamine or methylphenidate 2.5 mg. Many parents are aware of basic behavioural techniques, and can adapt these to the particular problems presented by a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The parents of younger children may be able to obtain sufficient help from their health visitor. A lack of inhibition may be the central problem in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also one of the most difficult aspects of the disorder to manage.