On the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, CIT, Centre de Teràpia Interfamiliar, would like to stress the importance of each child having at their disposal all the necessary resources to achieve better personal and social development. To this end, from our facility we try to tackle it in a transdisciplinary way (psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and neuropediatricians) the developmental, behavioral or emotional difficulties that appear in children, always together with the family and the school, essential allies in the therapy of children with difficulties.
In our daily work, we diagnose and treat children with developmental difficulties or delays, language difficulties, autistic symptoms, attention and hyperactivity difficulties, high capacities and/or behavioural or emotional problems.
All these children receive a neuropediatric and/or psychiatric evaluation, discarding organicity, are evaluated by neuropsychology, speech therapy and/or occupational therapy, making a diagnosis and referring within our unit to the most appropriate professional.
Empowering the family
Intervention with the family is fundamental for our team, opting for a family-centered model, carrying out more and more interventions in the child’s home and empowering the family as a fundamental part of the intervention. At the same time there is continuous coordination and advice with schools, to work together the needs of the child, trying to generalize the objectives achieved to different contexts.
Diagnosis of ADHD
Today, one of the most frequent diagnoses made in the consultation is Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), affecting up to 5-8% of the child population. It is a neurobiologically based disorder, involving dopaminergic and noradrenergic circuits of the brain, essential to maintain our executive functions.
Some of the main and most important executive functions are as follows:
- Reasoning: to be able to use the different information and to see the possible connections between them, as well as to elaborate possible explanations.
- Planning: it allows us to elaborate action plans, to generate a series of steps that will lead us to a concrete goal.
- Goal setting: ability linked to motivation that allows us to decide what to do, how to invest our energies and where to direct our behaviors.
- Decision-making: allows us to determine which option to choose from among the many that may be presented to us.
- Starting and finishing tasks: both starting tasks and finishing an action is an important cognitive activity.
- Organization: ability to combine and structure information in an efficient and useful way.
- Inhibition: this is one of the most relevant functions. Ability that allows us to regulate our actions by stopping the conduct. It enables us to resist specific impulses, stop an action and prevent harmless information from interfering with our behavior.
- Monitoring: the ability to keep an eye on the task and to regulate what and how we are doing what we are doing.
- Memory of verbal and non-verbal work: ability to store information so that the subject can operate with it later, both verbally and non-verbally.
- Anticipation: ability to foresee in advance the results of an action and its consequences.
- Flexibility: allows us to change our way of acting or thinking in the face of possible environmental changes or to modify actions in progress.
Symptoms of ADHD
These functions involve dopaminergic and noradrenergic circuits, which when they fail give rise to a cognitive and behavioural problem, ADHD being defined by the presence, to a greater or lesser degree, of the following symptoms:
- Attention deficit: they avoid doing tasks that require continuous mental effort, they have a hard time concentrating, they are easily distracted, they make mistakes because of these absent-mindednesses, they have a hard time organizing themselves, they leave half tasks and they lose or forget necessary objects.
Hyperactivity: they don’t stop quietly, they don’t know how to play quiet games, they remove themselves in the seat, and they talk continuously.
Impulsivity: they respond hastily, interrupt and do not know how to wait their turn.
Treatment for ADHD
The treatment of a child with ADHD depends on the degree and characteristics of each child, always recommending an appropriate psychoeducational intervention in ADHD, along with the family and school approach. In the children with greater cognitive, behavioral or emotional affectation, is where we will indicate an adequate pharmacological treatment.
Psychoeducational intervention in ADHD
It is in the psychoeducational intervention in ADHD, where platforms such as NeuronUP help us to make the intervention with these children is more motivating for them, getting better control of symptoms and greater success in treatments.
The cognitive stimulation through the computer with playful activities is every day a claim for them. We observe that both children in whom inattention predominates and children in whom hyperactivity and impulsivity predominate are capable of working for longer without detecting signs of attentional decay or loss of interest in tasks. Also at motor level, it seems that they are able to better control their restlessness, when performing tasks with the computer.
NeuronUP has made our cognitive stimulation work much easier through its online platform. We create individual profiles for each one of our children, with their name and password, where we select the activities we want to perform depending on the areas to work in each session: executive functions, attention, memory, processing speed, planning, etc., among others. In this way, the results of each worked area are registered in the individual profile, being able to follow the evolution of the child in each of the areas described.
Without a doubt, it has been a great success for us to work with NeuronUP, for the stimulation of cognitive functions, as well as to train in social skills and to work the activities of daily life. And without forgetting the most important thing, which is through play when you get the greatest involvement and motivation of the youngest.
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