Sometimes children may exhibit disruptive behaviors as they find it difficult to sit still and focus on a task, which can lead you to the thought “Does my child have ADHD?” It’s normal for children to have trouble focusing and sustaining their attention when it comes to certain tasks or activities. As the saying goes, they will eventually grow out of it. However, this is not the case for children with ADHD. Symptoms can increase to a significant degree making it difficult for the child to cope at home, in school, and in various settings.
To better understand if your child may be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, it’s important to learn basic knowledge about ADHD. This article will discuss what ADHD is and what causes it. Next, it will talk about the types of ADHD and its symptoms. Finally, it will provide you with some suggestions on what you can do as a parent if you notice these symptoms.
What Is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of children. Although the onset of ADHD is typically seen during the preschool years it’s diagnosed commonly when children are around the age of 7.
Statistics show that millions of children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD with over 300,000 children ages 2-5, over 2 million children ages 6-11, and 3.3 million children ages 12-17. Studies also show that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as compared to girls.
Children with ADHD face different challenges throughout developmental stages. They often fall short in terms of social skills, particularly social cooperation. ADHD is also linked to poor academic performance because of its main symptoms – inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Causes of ADHD
Research has shown that although there are several probable causes of ADHD, evidence shows that genetics plays an important role. Early researches on families of children with ADHD show that ADHD runs in families and that over 25% of first-degree relatives of the families of children with ADHD also had ADHD. Aside from genetics, these are other possible causes of ADHD:
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Exposure to toxic substances during pregnancy or at a young age
- Brain injury caused by trauma, brain tumors, strokes, or diseases
Types of ADHD and their Symptoms
As previously mentioned, the core symptoms of ADHD are impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Some signs of ADHD also include forgetting or losing things often, squirming or fidgeting, talking too much, having trouble taking turns, and having difficulty in getting along with others. Some of these symptoms may be more extreme than others, which may then fall under a specific type of ADHD. Listed below are types of ADHD and some of their common symptoms:
Predominantly Inattentive ADHD
- Gets bored quickly
- Has trouble focusing on a single task
- Has difficulty organizing thoughts and learning new information
- Doesn’t seem to listen
- Moves slowly and appear as if they’re daydreaming
- Processes information more slowly and less accurately than others
- Has trouble following directions
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD
- Squirms, fidgets, or feels restless
- Have difficulty sitting still
- Talks constantly
- Touches and plays with objects, even when inappropriate to the task at hand
- Have trouble engaging in quiet activities
- Are constantly “on the go”
- Are impatient
- Acts out of turn and don’t think about the consequences of actions
- Blurts out answers and inappropriate comments
Symptoms are a mix of those who have predominantly inattentive ADHD and those who have predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD
What to do if you notice symptoms?
If you have observed that your child exhibits many of the listed symptoms for an extended period of time, it’s best to consult a specialist, like a developmental pediatrician or child psychologist. Seeking the advice of a specialist will help you, with your concerns regarding, your child’s behavior. Early intervention is one of the best ways to address these concerns in case your child does get diagnosed with ADHD. Although coping with ADHD may be a challenge for your child and all those involved in the child’s life, it’s important to remember that collaboration is the key to formulating strategies, techniques, and approaches to be able to address these concerns.
Positive interactions, re-enforcement, and appropriate limit-setting are just some ways parents may help their child with ADHD cope with the challenges of their condition. Your child has a bright future ahead of him/her, and ADHD is just one of the challenges he/she will face in life. They can learn positive strategies to cope with this challenge.