Do you think there could be ADHD in your child? Here's how to identify and get the treatment you need for the signs and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
What is ADHD or ADD?
It's natural for kids to forget their homework sometimes, daydream during class, behave without thought, or get fidgety at the dinner table. Yet inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, also referred to as attention deficit disorder or ADD, are also symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental condition that normally occurs before the age of seven, generally in early childhood. ADHD makes it hard for kids to suppress their spontaneous reactions, which can include anything from action to expression to attention. We all know children who can't sit still, who never seem to listen, who don't follow orders no matter how plainly you present them, or who at inappropriate times blur out inappropriate remarks. These kids are often labelled as troublemakers, or blamed for being lazy and undisciplined. They can, however, have ADHD.
Is it normal kid behavior or is it ADHD?
It can be difficult to differentiate between ADHD and regular "kid behavior." It is definitely not ADHD if you spot just a few signs, or the symptoms occur only in certain cases. On the other hand, if your child displays a range of signs and symptoms of ADHD that are present in all circumstances, it is time to take a closer look at home, at school, and at play.
It can be stressful and daunting to live with a child with ADHD, but there is a lot you can do as a parent to help manage symptoms, resolve everyday difficulties, and bring more calm to your family.
What does ADHD look like?
When many people think of attention deficit disorder, they imagine in constant motion an out-of-control child, jumping off the walls and disturbing all around them. But there's a far more nuanced truth. Some kids with ADHD are hyperactive, while others, with their focus miles away, sit quietly. Some place so much stress on a goal and have difficulty moving it to anything else. Just slightly inattentive, but excessively impulsive, are others.
A child with attention deficit disorder has signs and symptoms that differ on which features predominate.
ADHD children can be:
Inattentive, but not impulsive or hyperactive.
Impulsive and hyperactive, but able to pay attention.
Hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive (the most common form of ADHD).
Children who have only inattentive signs of ADHD, since they are not harmful, are often ignored. The signs of inattention, however, have consequences: getting in hot water with parents and teachers for not following directions; underperforming in school; or clashing for not playing by the rules with other children.
Spotting ADHD at different ages
Since we expect very young children to be easily distractible and hyperactive, it is the impulsive behaviors that often stand out in preschoolers with ADHD. The dangerous climb, the blurred insult. Most children, however, have learned to pay attention to others by the age of four or five, to sit quietly when told, and not to say anything that pops into their heads. Thus, people with ADHD stand out in all three activities by the time children hit school age: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Inattentiveness signs and symptoms of ADHD
It's not that kids with ADHD can't pay attention: they have no difficulty concentrating and staying on task while they're doing activities they like or hearing about topics in which they're interested. But they easily tune out when the assignment is repetitive or dull.
Another popular issue is keeping on track. Without completing all of them, children with ADHD often bounce from task to task or miss required procedural steps. It is harder for them to organize their schoolwork and their time than it is for other kids. If there are things going on around them, children with ADHD also have difficulty concentrating; they usually need a calm, quiet atmosphere in order to remain concentrated.
Symptoms of inattention in children
Your child may:
Have difficulty keeping focused; be easily distracted before it is done or get bored with a mission.
Do not seem to be listening when spoken to.
Having trouble recalling stuff and following instructions; not paying attention to information or making careless mistakes.
Have trouble keeping organized, preparing ahead, and completing tasks.
Sometimes, homework, books, toys, or other things are lost or misplaced.
Hyperactivity signs and symptoms of ADHD
Hyperactivity is the most visible symptom of ADHD. While several children are very busy normally, children with hyperactive symptoms of attention deficit disorder are still on the move. They can try to do many things at once, from one task to the next, bouncing around. And when forced to sit still, which can be very difficult for them, they tap their feet, shake their legs, or drum their fingers.
Symptoms of hyperactivity in children
Your child may:
Fidgeting and squirming constantly.
Having trouble sitting still, peacefully playing, or relaxing.
Constantly jumping about, sometimes running or climbing improperly.
Have a fast temperament or a "short fuse."
Impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD
The impulsivity of children with ADHD can cause self-control issues. They'll disrupt conversations, invade the room of other people, ask unnecessary questions in class, make tactless remarks, and ask unnecessarily personal questions because they censor themselves less than other kids do. For children with ADHD, directives such as "Be patient" and "Just wait a little while" are twice as difficult to obey as they are for other youngsters.
Kids with impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD often appear to be emotionally moody and overreact. As a result, the child could begin to be seen by others as rude, strange, or needy.
Symptoms of impulsivity in children
Your child may:
Act without thought.
Instead of taking time to answer a problem, guess; blurt out classroom responses without waiting to be called on or hear the whole question.
Intrude on the conversations or games of other people.
Interrupt others often; say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Unable to hold intense feelings in check, resulting in violent outbursts or tantrums of temper.
Positive effects of ADHD in children
ADHD has little to do with talent or intellect. In addition, the following positive characteristics are also displayed by children with attention deficit disorder:
Inventiveness. Children who have ADHD can be wonderfully inventive and innovative. A master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an imaginative artist may become a kid who daydreams and has ten separate thoughts at once. It might be easy to distract children with ADHD, but often they see what others don't see.
Flexibility. Flexibility. Since children with ADHD consider a lot of alternatives at once, early on they are not fixed on one solution and are more open to multiple ideas.
Spontaneity and excitement. ADHD kids are never dull! There are a lot of different things they are involved in and they have fun personalities. In short, they're a lot of fun to be with if they don't exasperate you (and sometimes even when they are).
Energetic and driving. They work or play hard and aspire to excel when children with ADHD are inspired. In reality, distracting them from a task that interests them may be hard, especially if the activity is interactive or hands-on.
Is it really ADHD?
It doesn't mean that they have ADHD only because a child has signs of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. Symptoms that sound like ADHD may be triggered by some medical conditions, psychiatric problems, and stressful life events.
It is crucial that you see a mental health professional to discuss and rule out the following possibilities before an accurate diagnosis of ADHD can be made:
Learning disabilities or reading, writing, motor skills, or language difficulties.
Significant events in life or traumatic events, such as a recent relocation, a loved one's death, bullying, or divorce.
Psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Behavioral disorders such as disorder of behavior, disorder of reactive attachment, and defiant disorder of opposition.
Health conditions, including problems with the thyroid, neurological conditions, sleep disturbances, and epilepsy.
Helping a child with ADHD
Whether or not the signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in your child are related to ADHD, if left untreated, they may trigger several problems. In school, kids who can not concentrate and manage themselves can fail, get into constant trouble, and find it difficult to get along with others or make friends. For the entire family, these frustrations and problems will lead to low self-esteem as well as friction and stress.
Yet care may make a drastic difference in the symptoms of your infant. Your child will get on track for success in all aspects of life with the correct support.
Don't wait to seek clinical assistance if your child deals with symptoms that look like ADHD. Without getting a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, you should treat your child's signs of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. Having your child into counseling, adopting a better diet and exercise schedule, and adjusting the home atmosphere to eliminate distractions are choices to start with.
If you have an ADHD diagnosis, you will then collaborate with the doctor, therapist, and school of your child to develop a customized care plan that fits their individual needs. Successful childhood ADHD care includes behavioral counseling, education and preparation for caregivers, social support, and school help. Medication can also be used; it should never, however, be the only treatment for attention deficit disorder.
Parenting tips for children with ADHD
It can take a lot of energy to get them to listen, complete a task, or sit still if your child is hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive. It can be stressful and exhausting to track continuously. Often you may feel like the show is being run by your kids. But there are measures you can take to regain control of the situation while encouraging your child to make the most of their talents at the same time.
Although bad parenting does not cause attention deficit disorder, there are successful parenting techniques that can go a long way to fix problem behaviors. Children with ADHD need structure, discipline, consistent communication, and their behavior requires incentives and consequences. They need plenty of love, assistance, and motivation as well.
Without losing the natural vitality, playfulness, and sense of wonder unique in every child, there are many things parents may do to reduce the signs and symptoms of ADHD.
I was worried before that my child has some adhd. But thanks God when we consult a physician and said that he isn't.