ADHD in kids can negatively affect their lives at home and at school. If you have a child with hyperactive and inattentive behaviors, you might be wondering: does my child have ADHD? What are the symptoms? What can I do about it?
What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A child with ADHD can be inattentive, hyper, and impulsive. This chronic mental disorder starts in childhood, but ADHD can also persist in adults. It is one of the most common disorders in children. ADHD is also more common in boys than girls.
ADHD in kids can result in difficulties at school, at home, with relationships, and can affect a child’s self-esteem.
When can my child get ADHD?
Symptoms of ADHD begin before a child is 12 years old. Health professions diagnose ADHD when a child is between the ages of 4 and 18. It is difficult to diagnose ADHD in young toddlers and preschoolers, as children in that age group change rapidly and typical toddler behavior can be similar to the symptoms of ADHD.
How severe are the symptoms of ADHD?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is normal for children to have some inattention, impulsiveness and unfocused activity. But for kids with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and can affect the quality of how they function socially and academically.
Does my child have ADHD?
Parents and teachers might mistake ADHD for emotional or disciplinary problems. And some children with ADHD may often be well-behaved, quiet or not exhibit all the signs and symptoms of ADHD. Some children that have ADHD may not be diagnosed with ADHD until later in life, and miss out on help and treatment. If you have any questions about your child, you can consult a healthcare professional. 10 Signs of ADHD
An ADHD child may tap their hands, squirm in their seat, wiggle their hands or feet or fidget with objects. They also might pace or doodle.
2. Moving around when it is not appropriate
A child with ADHD might leave their seat at school and move around a classroom. They might find it difficult to stay sitting down and often feel restless. A child might also climb or run in inappropriate situations.
3. Trouble waiting their turn
Kids with ADHD can have trouble waiting and become impatient. They may at times blurt out questions or answers. They can also insert themselves into conversations and games.
4. Excessive talking
ADHD can lead a child to talk excessively, which can interrupt activities and instructions. Children with ADHD might have problems playing quietly or they may become disruptive. They can have difficulty waiting and staying quiet.
5. Avoiding and not finishing tasks
An ADHD child might avoid tasks that are boring, repetitive or require mental effort. Homework and schoolwork can be very difficult. A child with ADHD can leave tasks unfinished and incomplete.
6. Lack of focus
Children with ADHD can have trouble focusing and become easily distracted. More than simply not paying attention, they find it difficult to listen and focus on details.
7. Problems following directions
They might also have difficulty following directions. They may seem to understand, but then fail to follow instructions correctly. Even if they write it down, a child with ADHD may still not follow each directions properly.
8. Careless mistakes
A child with ADHD can make careless mistakes. They might fail to pay attention to details that matter. They can also lose things and misplace objects. They might also have trouble staying organized at school and at home.
9. Problems in Multiple Settings
ADHD leads to difficulties in multiple settings. A child with ADHD can have problems at home, at school and in extracurricular and social settings. Even with a change of environment, an ADHD child still struggles with inattentiveness or hyperactivity.
10. Symptoms are interfering with life
ADHD affects a child’s ability to participate in age-appropriate activities. Kids with ADHD have symptoms that interfere with their ability to learn and grow in school and at home. The symptoms might also affect their relationships with others.
What if my child only has some symptoms of ADHD?
Not all children with ADHD have all the signs and symptoms of ADHD. Some children might have some of the symptoms, but not others. If a child has only some symptoms that occur frequently, they can still receive an ADHD diagnosis. Every child will exhibit ADHD symptoms differently than another child.
Are there different types of ADHD?
According to the CDC, there are different types of ADHD. ADHD symptoms fall into two categories: inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Some children have symptoms that are hyperactive and inattentive. Some children have predominately inattentive symptoms, with more problems with inattentiveness and less hyperactive behavior. And finally, some children have predominately hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, where symptoms are primarily hyperactive and impulsive.
What if it’s not ADHD?
There are other disorders and difficulties that may have similar symptoms of ADHD. For example, bipolar disorder, autism, sensory processing disorders, sleep disorders and hearing problems might all lead to symptoms that can look like ADHD. In addition, some normal childhood behavior can include some impulsiveness, hyperactivity and inattention.
What should I do if I think my child has ADHD?
A child with ADHD must have symptoms for longer than six months for a healthcare professional to diagnose ADHD. Only trained healthcare professionals can diagnose and treat ADHD. If you think your child is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of ADHD, talk to your healthcare provider.
What are the treatments for ADHD?
Treatments for ADHD can include therapy and medication.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) can also be an effective treatment for ADHD. If you’d like to learn more, visit our TMS Procedure page.