Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the closely linked ADD (Attention deficit disorder) are mental disorders that causes above-normal levels of hyperactive and/or disruptive behaviours. People with ADHD / ADD tend to have difficulty concentrating, sitting still, paying attention, staying organized, following instructions, remembering details, and/or controlling their impulses.
My 8 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD, (combined) when he was 6 years old. I had known that there was something “different" about W for some time but was reluctant to "put a label" on him, or really face the fact that he was not going to just grow out of it. He was asked to leave the first school he attended in Shanghai within three weeks. He then attended ELG (Essential Learning Group) for 18 months. W now has re-entered the international school system. It is a struggle for him, but socially it is worth the odd hiccup.
W has periods where he is hyper-focused on an activity, sitting still with complete focus, and I feel that the diagnosis must be wrong. He will then follow this up by being unable to sit at the dinner table for five minutes.
Due to his inattention W often misses instructions; it has taken me sometime to accept the fact that he did not hear me, rather than assume that he is being defiant or lazy.
Sports is a big part of our lives. I originally had visions of sweet little girls accompanying me on trips to museums and art galleries. Now I go to trampolining, soccer and kung fu classes. Exercise really helps with W's sleep. If he has not exercised he can take up to two hours to fall asleep.
We tried many different diets, and therapies before putting W on medication. I was very reluctant to do this and felt that I had somehow failed my child. In fact the drugs just help take the edge off. I don't get a different child, just one that can
function at school.
There are far fewer drugs available in Shanghai than in the US or Europe. You may wish to stock up before you come out here. Furthermore, some of the drugs are only available in Puxi (West side of Shanghai), although you can see a doctor and get the prescription in Pudong. Just beware that timings maybe sensitive.
There are some really great doctors here but again your choice will not be as expansive as in the US or Europe.
Schooling is also a big hurdle in Shanghai with many of the International school reluctant to take ADHD children due to a lack of resources. Each child is reviewed on a case by case.
Diet can be a huge contributing factor to ADHD / ADD behaviour. High protein breakfasts and allergy testing can both help.