My belly hurts, mum

Writes by Irene Kyriakou, Εducator, Εxpert in ADHD, LD

During the school year, children with ADHD complain of abdominal pain. This is not only due to pathological factors but also due to psychological once.

Good performance, competition and intense school pressure are some of the causes of the stressful abdominal pain. Pain is generally located around the navel, but some children may complain of pain throughout the abdomen. The pain episodes last for a few minutes to hours. Children may have that feeling occasionally or every day.

An important indication is that the pain does not wake the child up at night and rarely interrupts the play. They often complain of pain in the morning before going to school or even during class. But they rarely do it at the weekend. Girls are more often affected by psychotic pain than boys because they are sensitive and fearful of failure.

How should they be treated by the important “others”, that is, by the adults?

You should remember that no matter the cause, the child is really in pain and need help -that child does not pretend but lives with ADHD.

You both must try to find practical ways of overcoming it. He may lie down rubbing his belly for a while. If he has left school, first calm him down and then make him think back and discuss. In a calm voice tone, with the obstetric method, try to learn from the child what is so difficult for him/her.

Do not pay attention to the child only when he hurts. Otherwise, he can lead to exaggeration about his symptoms for more interest.

Encourage the child by saying how much you believe him when he says that he hurts, how much you trust him, how much you love him and how proud you are of him.

In closing, it is very important to cultivate self-confidence to the gifted child with ADHD. This will be achieved by pointing out how important and unique he is to the people around.

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