If you ever happen to meet six-year-old Shlok Madye, you will be amazed at his interest in various activities. He is an official record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records, Limca Book of World Records and Asia Book of World Records for being part of the longest chain of rollers skaters, among 371 participants.
Shlok learns table and has a short performance scheduled in the next week, also, he loves drawing and importantly he does what he loves.
“Shlok has Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has been undergoing a multidisciplinary programme, including therapies and counselling since the past one-and-half year, and he is showing amazing improvement,” Dr Samir Dalwai, president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics- Mumbai Chapter, consulting Developmental Paediatrician and Founder of New Horizons Child Development Centre.
“Shlok used to be very hyper and was very shy to have any conversation with anybody, even with his peers,” said his overwhelmed mother, Supriya.
“The parents have taken tremendous effort and we all know how wonderfully Shlok has picked up,” said Sohini Chatterjee, Clinical Director and Psychologist, NHCDC.
ADHD is a chronic neuro-developmental condition that requires ample support by the family as well as the trainers. “Shlok came in with the complaint of being hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive and now, he is showing improvement in terms of being interested in multiple activities with better focus and increased concentration,” said Mansi Walimde, psychological counsellor at the NHCDC.
Various studies have claimed that martial arts, ice skating, gymnastics, skating, rock climbing and many such activities are especially good for children with ADHD. The reason cited is the fact that movements that is included in fulfilment of these sports activities help multiple brain areas that control timing, error correction, fine-motor adjustments and inhibition and it also improves focus and concentration.
“Children with ADHD have a lot of energy. It is very important to direct their attention in the right direction, and hence, activities like boxing, skating, rock-climbing etc. that requires excessive movements and energy prove to be useful,” said Dr Heena Merchant, ex-secretary of the Bombay Psychiatry Association and assistant professor at KEM Hospital.
For any child, parents’ support needs to be immense, without which nothing can move ahead. “Shlok is a very wonderful child and we are immensely proud of him. He learns tabla, skating and drawing too. And he enjoys all of them. There have been times when we asked him to quit one of these classes, but he refuses discontinuing it saying he is having fun, so the only mantra is to let him do what he enjoys the most,” said Sameer, Shlok’s father.
“When we went to NHCDC, we were counselled by the doctors and trainers at the centre. They have been very supportive,” he added.
“Neuro developmental disorders need early detection and a team approach. No one doctor or therapist or counsellor can do it all. But, it is imperative they all work together with the child at the centre – just like a surgery needs a team working with each other,” added Dr Sandhya Kulkarni, chairperson, Post Graduate Diploma Program for Special Education at NH Institute of Education and Research.