Childhood is a period filled with plenty of growth and changes. As children grow up, it is reasonable to see them restless and full of energy buzzing from one activity to another, hardly attentive.
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On other occasions, they will be daydreaming in class, coming home, and forget about chores and homework. Yet, what can be considered normal may, at times, be symptoms of a chronic condition ADHD.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is the more well-known name for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that often appears early in life and often carries on into adulthood.
ADHD makes it difficult for the children to control their spontaneous responses, whether it is their speech, making them blurt out comments at inappropriate times. It also often makes them hyperactive and inattentive, which affects their ability to stay still and focus on one task until completion.
Children who have ADHD and who do not receive treatment struggle with various issues in vital areas of their lives. Such issues include self-esteem, performance in school, and difficulty in their relationships.
Symptoms for ADHD
The challenge of identifying ADHD is in separating normal behavior from ADHD symptoms. It is common for preschoolers and even teenagers to struggle with attention for long spans. At the same time, children by nature tend to have more energy, and some may have a higher activity level than others, which is natural.
The main ADHD difference with routine behavior, which is part of a child’s growth, is not confined to some situations. ADHD symptoms are present whether the child is playing, at school, or at home.
There are three main symptoms shown by children with ADHD;
Children with ADHD have significant trouble staying on track and focusing and staying on track, especially when they find the task or subject repetitive and boring. They are likely to demonstrate the following behavior;
- They struggle to pay attention and will often daydream
- They do not seem to be listening
- They get easily distracted when working or playing, especially when other things are going around
- They tend to make careless mistakes and do not seem to consider details
- They tend to avoid things and tasks that will demand continuous mental effort
- Are often forgetful and tend to lode important things frequently
- Do not follow through instructions
- They have difficulty completing tasks
- They experience difficulty in staying organized and planning.
Hyperactivity is one of the most obvious signs of ADHD, and while most children will demonstrate high activity levels when young, those with ADHD are always on the move jumping from one activity to the next.
Often, they seem to be doing several things at once, and even when forced to sit still will have finger drumming or their legs tapping. Some of the behaviors include;
- They have difficulty staying seated whether at home, school, or other situations
- They are frequently squirming and fidgeting
- Tend to talk too much
- They are ever in constant motion and will often be jumping, running, and climbing even when this is inappropriate.
- They cannot play or do other activities quietly.
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Impulsivity in ADHD children makes them struggle with self-control, and they hardly experience self-inhibition as other children do. Since they hardly censure themselves, ADHD children will often interrupt in activities and conversations, make tactless comments and observations, invade others’ personal space, and often ask personal or irrelevant questions.
Other behaviors they may exhibit as a result of their impulsivity include;
- Acting or speaking without thinking
- Struggle with having to take turns
- Frequently interrupting others in conversations, play or work
- Blurting out answers before being picked or waiting to hear the full question
- Struggle with having to keep powerful emotions in check may make them temperamental and often cause tantrums and emotional outbursts
- Prefer guessing solutions rather than thinking through problems.
How is an ADHD diagnosis confirmed?
It is difficult to accurately diagnose ADHD in children under the age of four since children under this age develop and change rapidly. The average age for diagnosis of moderate is seven years. By the time children get to this age, those with ADHD will have stood out already in the three main symptoms.
- The symptoms need to occur in two or more settings and should cause some impairment.
- For children aged 4-17 years, six or more symptoms have to be identified.
- For children 17 years or older, five or more symptoms should be identified.
- The symptoms should cause significant impairment in your child’s ability to function in some of the daily life activities like performance in school, relationships with parents and siblings, relationships with friends, etc.
- Symptoms start before the child gets to the age of 12 even though they may not be recognized as ADHD symptoms at the time until at an older age.
- Symptoms have gone on for more than six months.
Fortunately, there are treatment and coping strategies that, while it may not cure the condition completely, will help the children deal with and manage the symptoms and lead productive lives.
Early diagnosis and subsequent treatment of ADHD are vital for the success of the treatment plan. Therefore, early recognition of the symptoms is crucial.
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If you are worried about symptoms of ADHD in your child, you can find specialist help at EZCare clinic.
Our doctors are trained and experienced in figuring out the differences between ADHD and other health issues and are well placed to find the best treatment plan for your child.
Schedule your appointment online today or call us at (415) 966-0848