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First center for ADHD kids opens today
Latest Updated by 2006-09-27 10:50:44
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Shenzhen's first center for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) children will open today at the Shenzhen People's Hospital as part of a national program to help such children improve school performance and develop healthier personalities.

Zhang Wei and Zhou Keying, specialists in children's neurology at the hospital, will give two free lectures this afternoon to teachers, community doctors and parents.

ADHD is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in preschool and early school years, said Dr. Wen Feiqiu, director of the hospital's pediatric department, Monday.

"As it is hard for these children to control their behavior and pay attention, they easily become problem kids at school. What's worse is nearly half of them, not adequately treated, will carry the symptoms into adulthood and find it difficult to find a stable job and get married. Some may suffer from depression, use drugs and even commit crimes," he said.

Wen said it is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD in Chinese cities. ADHD kids also comprise a large number of the 30 million Chinese children, ranking between 6 percent and 22 percent of the total, who are diagnosed with behavioral problems.

The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are sometimes mistaken as a lack of willingness to study in schoolchildren.

Though the disease is found in more boys than girls - by about three to one - Wen said he once treated a girl who could not sit motionless in a classroom for three minutes. "When the teacher criticized her, she just lay on the ground to protest," he said. The girls' parents could do nothing about her "stubborn disobedience" and did not realize it was a disease until they took her to Wen.

"It's not right to criticize, punish or discriminate these children," said Wang Jianhong, another doctor with the hospital.

"Punishment will not lead to a cure since the children cannot control their behaviors because of neurological and psychological problems," she said.

Wen said 70 to 80 percent of ADHD kids show improvement after various kinds of treatment like team sports training, psychological counseling, medication, and most importantly, support from parents and teachers.

"And the medicine, a CNS stimulant widely used to treat ADHD in the United States, shall be taken under strict guidance of professionals," he said.

The center will give free lectures at least once a month to educate parents and teachers about the disease.

The national program was jointly launched by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and a children's health research institute attached to the Beijing University early in April.

A total of 100 Chinese hospitals have been chosen to participate in the program which will train specialized doctors, educate parents and teachers, and compile books to teach the general public about the disease.

So far, ADHD treatment centers have been set up in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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