Recently, many parents have become increasingly concerned with whether or not their child has ADHD. With this disorder’s exposure over the years, it is hard to blame a parent for wondering if their child has ADHD. It is incredibly easy to misinterpret average child and teenage behavior with ADHD, especially if basing this judgment purely on what is seen in the media. Because it is easy to misread behaviors, it is essential to know exactly what signs to look out for when questioning whether or not your child has ADHD.
If you are wondering if your child has ADHD, you should make sure you have an accurate understanding of what ADHD is. ADHD, which stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is primarily defined as having difficulty maintaining focus or attention as well as hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. This disorder typically appears during childhood, sometimes as young as 3, but much more common around the age of 7. ADHD is not a curable disorder and won’t simply go away like the common cold. Still, it is treatable, especially when caught early on.
What exactly are the signs of ADHD? It’s easier to break the disorder into two major elements: Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity. The Attention-Deficit component has symptoms that can be similar to other disorders or just normal childhood behaviors. Still, when combined with other symptoms that seriously damage your child’s ability to function in school and their personal lives, in that case, they may indicate the presence of a disorder.
ADHD Signs to look out for include:
- Making careless mistakes on homework or chores that display a lack of attention.
- Inability to focus on a singular task.
- Difficulty following instructions or learning how to complete a task.
- Forgetting to do chores, homework, or other activities in their routine.
Hyperactivity is easier to identify as these behaviors are more distinct and easily observable. Signs for this component include:
- Constantly fidgeting, tapping, or other excessive behavior.
- Getting up and moving or running around at inappropriate times.
- Talking excessively or making loud noises.
- Difficulty waiting for their turn in an activity or impatience when doing a task.
When looking at these symptoms on their own, it is easy to assume that many normal childhood behaviors are indicators of ADHD. Having a shorter attention span, being energetic, and having disinterest in some subjects are typical for many children. It would be best if you also did not compare your child to other children around them when looking for signs of ADHD. Every child is different, and if these differences don’t result in any distress, it’s more likely that your child is just a unique individual! These signs should be observed in all aspects of your child’s life, not only at school or home. If your child is showing these signs only at school, the problem may be with their classroom or how they’re interacting with their peers.
Once you’ve identified that your child has these symptoms, the next step is to take them to be professionally diagnosed. Doing this is much easier than you’d imagine; start by taking your child to a family doctor or pediatrician. While they aren’t mental health specialists, they can refer your child to one they trust. These specialists can make sure your child has ADHD or determine they have another underlying mental health problem. They can then set up a plan for the best treatment for your child. It is crucial NOT to diagnose your child yourself, as every parent naturally may have biases towards their child. ADHD is a medical condition and should be treated as such!
Leaving ADHD undiagnosed and untreated can lead to a much harsher life for your child. If you suspect that they may have ADHD, make sure you identify their symptoms correctly and take them to a professional for a proper diagnosis. While it may not be curable, your child can still live a long, prosperous life alongside their ADHD!