When we think about ADHD in general, we tend to label it as a disorder commonly associated with children. While the effects of this disorder can carry into adulthood if not properly treated, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder typically does show signs in younger people. It’s a mental health disorder that can affect your child’s success, relationships, and growth.
Unfortunately, symptoms can often be customary on an individual basis. It takes a doctor’s diagnosis to officially determine if a child has ADHD. Far too often, the symptoms go unnoticed and an official diagnosis is never given. Most children aren’t diagnosed officially until they are into their early teen years, even if they exhibit symptoms and behaviors earlier.
To help your child cope with the effects of ADHD, it’s important to recognize possible symptoms. Again, everyone may express these symptoms in a slightly different manner. But, knowing the overall signs can help you to determine whether or not you should take your child to a doctor to be diagnosed. Keeping your eyes open for some of these signs can be beneficial for your child if it gets them the treatment they need.
They are Only Focused on Themselves
It’s sometimes hard for children with ADHD to consider the needs of others, or think about other people’s feelings. This can lead to things like frequent interrupting during conversations, or difficulty waiting their turn. They are very self-focused and self-driven, and don’t typically understand why everything can’t be about ‘them’ all the time. Obviously, this can lead to trouble in forming friendships and healthy relationships.
They Can’t Sit Still
This is one of the most common symptoms people associate with childhood ADHD. Fidgeting, or the inability to sit still for long isn’t necessarily uncommon in most children. But, a child with this disorder will find it nearly impossible to stay in one place for any length of time, for any reason.
They Have Trouble Focusing
Another symptom people commonly associate with ADHD is a child’s inability to focus. We don’t expect our children to have extremely long attention spans, but this lack of focus is different. If they have trouble paying attention even when someone is talking directly to them, it could indicate a problem.
Furthermore, this easily distracted behavior often leads to things like daydreaming, making frequent mistakes after being given specific instructions, or even forgetting something they were just told. They may also avoid any task that requires sustained effort, mentally. This could unfortunately include things like paying attention in a classroom setting.
They Showcase Symptoms Regularly
While these are just a few of the common symptoms, it’s important to pay attention to them at home as well as school. If your child’s teacher brings up any of these signs, consider their behavior at home. A child with ADHD will show symptoms almost everywhere, not just in one specific location or during a specific circumstance. If they aren’t focused in school, are they focused at home? If not, it might be time to get an official diagnosis.
The sooner you are able to get a diagnosis, the sooner a treatment plan can be put into place to help them deal with the symptoms and inconveniences of this distracting disorder.
Marcy M. Caldwell, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment and assessment of adult ADHD Psychologist Philadelphia.