Do you suspect that your child has ADHD? Learn how to spot the warning signs and symptoms of ADHD in children and teens so you can receive the help you need.
What is ADHD or ADD?
It’s common for kids to periodically act impulsively, forget their schoolwork, daydream in class, or fidget at the dinner table. However, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), commonly referred to as attention deficit disorder or ADD, can also be indicated by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
The typical onset of ADHD, a common neurodevelopmental disease, comes in early infancy, usually before the age of seven. Children with ADHD find it challenging to control their impulsive behaviours, which can include anything from movement to speech to concentration. Every parent has encountered a child that is unable to sit still, never seems to pay attention, ignores directions no matter how clearly they are given, or makes improper comments when not appropriate. These kids are occasionally referred to as troublemakers or chastised for their laziness and lack of discipline. They might have ADHD, though.
Is this typical child behaviour or a sign of ADHD?
Differentiating between ADHD and typical “child behaviour” can be challenging. It’s probably not ADHD if you just notice a few symptoms or if they only manifest in certain circumstances. On the other hand, it’s time to take a closer look if your child exhibits a number of ADHD signs and symptoms that are present in all settings—at home, at school, and during play.
The challenges of raising a child with ADHD can be frustrating and overwhelming, but there are many things you as a parent can do to assist manage symptoms, get through each day, and calm your family down.
ADHD Signs and Symptoms
Many people associate attention deficit disorder with an unruly child who is always on the move, bouncing off the walls, and upsetting everyone in their vicinity. Yet, the truth is far more nuanced. While some ADHD youngsters are hyperactive, others sit calmly with their concentration elsewhere. Some people struggle to change their focus from one task to another when they are too focused on it. Some are excessively impulsive but only marginally inattentive.
Depending on which traits are more prominent, a kid with attention deficit disorder will exhibit different signs and symptoms.
Among kids with ADHD:
Unfocused but not impetuous or overly energetic.
Impulsive and excitable but still able to pay attention.
Impulsive, inattentive, and hyperactive (the most common form of ADHD).
As they are not disruptive, children with simply inattentive signs of ADHD are frequently disregarded. The effects of inattention include underachievement in school, conflicts with other children over breaking the rules, and trouble with parents and teachers for failing to follow instructions.
Signs of ADHD at Various Ages
Because we anticipate very young children to be quickly distracted and hyperactive, preschoolers with ADHD frequently stand out for their impulsive acts, such as the risky climb or the carelessly uttered insult. Yet, most kids have mastered these skills by the time they are four or five years old, including how to listen to others, sit quietly when asked to, and control their impulses to speak. By the time kids are of school age, people with ADHD are distinguished from other kids in terms of all three of these behaviours: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
ADHD indications and symptoms of inattentiveness
It’s not that kids with ADHD can’t pay attention; they have no trouble focusing and staying on task when they’re engaged in activities they enjoy or learning about subjects that interest them. But when the work is monotonous or dull, people lose interest rapidly.
Another frequent issue is maintaining focus. Children with ADHD frequently switch between tasks without finishing any of them or skip crucial phases in processes. They have a tougher problem managing their time and studies than most kids do. Children with ADHD typically require a peaceful, quiet atmosphere in order to keep concentrated; they struggle to focus when there are distractions around them.
Children’s signs of inattention
Your kid might:
Be easily distracted, have difficulties focusing, or get bored with a task before finishing it.
When addressed to, appear not to be listening.
Not paying attention to details or making careless blunders; having trouble remembering things and following instructions.
Have problems planning ahead, remaining organised, and completing projects.
Regularly misplace or lose schoolwork, books, toys, or other belongings.
ADHD signs and symptoms of hyperactivity
Hyperactivity is by far ADHD’s most blatant symptom. Many kids are naturally highly active, but children with attention deficit disorder hyperactivity symptoms are always moving. They could attempt to multitask by switching from one activity to the next. Their leg is shaking, their foot is tapping, or their fingers are drumming even when forced to sit motionless, which can be very difficult for them.
Symptoms of hyperactivity in children
Your kid might:
Squirm and fidget constantly.
Have trouble resting, playing quietly, or remaining motionless.
Continually move about, frequently running or climbing improperly.
Speak too much.
Having a short fuse or quick temper.
ADHD sign and symptoms of impulsivity
The impulsivity of children with ADHD can cause problems with self-control. Because they censor themselves less than other kids do, they’ll interrupt conversations, invade other people’s space, ask irrelevant questions in class, make tactless observations, and ask overly personal questions. Instructions like, “Be patient” and “Just wait a little while” are twice as hard for children with ADHD to follow as they are for other youngsters.
Children with impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD also tend to be moody and to overreact emotionally. As a result, others may start to view the child as disrespectful, weird, or needy.
Impulsivity in children’s behaviour symptoms
Your kid might:
Act without contemplation.
Guess rather than carefully working through an issue; speak out loud in class before being called upon or hearing the entire question.
Interfere with the games or chats of others.
Interrupting people a lot and saying the incorrect thing at the wrong time.
Be unable to control strong emotions, which can lead to tantrums or aggressive outbursts.
ADHD in children: Beneficial effects
ADHD is unrelated to talent or intelligence. Moreover, children with attention deficit disorder frequently exhibit the following admirable qualities:
Creativity: Children with ADHD are often incredibly imaginative and creative. A child who daydreams and thinks of 10 different things at once may grow up to be an imaginative artist, an expert problem-solver, or a never-ending source of ideas. While children with ADHD may be easily distracted, they occasionally pick up on things that others miss.
Flexibility: Children with ADHD think about many alternatives at once, which prevents them from settling on one option early on and makes them more receptive to various viewpoints.
Spontaneity and Enthusiasm: ADHD kids are rarely monotonous! They have vibrant personalities and a wide variety of interests. In short, they’re a lot of fun to be around if they’re not driving you crazy (and occasionally even when they are).
Drive and Vigour: When motivated, children with ADHD work hard or play hard and want to succeed. In fact, if the activity is participatory or hands-on, it could be challenging to get them to focus on anything else.
Is it actually ADHD?
A child does not necessarily have ADHD just because they exhibit signs of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. ADHD-like symptoms can be brought on by specific medical diseases, psychiatric disorders, and stressful living circumstances.
It is crucial that you consult a mental health expert to investigate and rule out the following options before an accurate diagnosis of ADHD can be made:
issues with language, reading, writing, motor skills, or learning disabilities.
Significant life occurrences or painful situations, such a recent move, a loved one’s death, bullying, or a divorce.
psychological conditions such as sadness, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
Conduct disorders, reactive attachment disorders, and oppositional defiant disorders are examples of behavioural disorders.
Illnesses such as thyroid issues, neurological issues, epilepsy, and sleep disturbances.
Assisting a kid with ADHD
Whether or whether your child has ADHD, the signs of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity can be quite problematic if left untreated. Youngsters who lack self-control and attention may struggle in school, run into problems frequently, and have issues getting along with others. They may also have trouble making friends. These setbacks and challenges can cause family strife and stress, as well as low self-esteem in the individual.
Yet, treatment can significantly alter your child’s symptoms. Your child can get on the path to success in all areas of life with the correct help.
Do not delay to seek medical attention if your child exhibits symptoms of ADHD. If your child exhibits signs of hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity, you can treat them without first receiving a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. Start by enrolling your child in treatment, improving your diet and exercise routine, and making changes to your home to reduce distractions.
If your child is found to have ADHD, you can collaborate with their doctor, therapist, and school to create a specialised treatment plan that addresses their unique requirements. Behavioral therapy, parent education and training, social support, and school support are all essential components of effective treatment for childhood ADHD. Although medication can be utilised, it should never be the exclusive method of treating attention deficit disorder.