ADHD symptoms in children
You’d normally expect a child to be willful, careless, inattentive and fidgety. That’s how kids are! They seem lost in their own world, don’t bother to listen most of the time and often put you in awkward situations by blurting out things they shouldn’t have.
But, when a child exhibits such behavior beyond his “normal bracket”- that is, in excess of what is expected of children his age and developmental stage- he might be suffering from ADHD.
ADHD- What is it?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often also known as ADD (attention deficit disorder), is a condition wherein children are not able to focus on any task- whether it’s brushing their teeth, getting dressed, homework or schoolwork. Also, they find it difficult to inhibit their spontaneous responses and are extremely impulsive, making them seem like social misfits. An ADHD child would seldom think before acting and could easily get bored with one task, jumping from one task to another, without satisfactorily completing them.
The difference between ADD and ADHD is that while ADHD children are essentially hyperactive- they may find it difficult to sit in one place, move around the classroom from one bench to another and seem disruptive, ADD children are more shy, withdrawn and taken to daydreaming.
That means you would easier notice or identify a child with ADHD (because his hyperactivity makes him so conspicuous), than a child with ADD. Typically such children have problems with accomplishing tasks, achieving grades, maintaining discipline and social relationships.
Many parents hope their child will “get over” ADHD, but symptoms, if left untreated, can continue through adulthood and make life really difficult. That’s why, it’s important for parents to be aware of the condition, identify and seek appropriate treatment for their ADHD children.
ADHD diagnosis is typically a joint effort of healthcare professionals, parents, teachers and the child.
ADHD Symptoms in kids
The three most common ADHD characteristics are: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness. Your child may exhibit any combination of these three characteristics- An ADD/ADHD child may suffer inattention, not being able to focus or concentrate on anything he does, without being strikingly hyperactive or markedly impulsive in his behavior. OR he may be hyperactive and impulsive, but able to focus on a given task OR he may exhibit a combination of all the three characteristics.
Identifying ADHD symptoms:
Signs of inattention
An ADHD kid may actually concentrate in tasks he enjoys or finds interesting, but the moment a task gets repetitive or boring, his attention wanes. An inattentive ADHD child will likely:
- Not pay attention to details
- Make careless mistakes
- Get distracted easily
- Forget or misplace homework, books, toys
- Not listen when spoken to
- Have trouble remembering or following instructions or staying organized
Signs of hyperactivity
- Constantly “on the move”- he’d be moving around the class when expected to sit quietly, walk, jump or climb inappropriately.
- Talks excessively and is always fidgety
- Cannot play quietly or relax
Signs of impulsivity
- Intrude into conversations, games etc.
- Will not wait for his turn in a line or games
- Answers out of turn
- Guesses answers to problems rather than taking time to think through or solve them.
- Doesn’t think before he acts; hence suffers lacks sense of timing- says wrong things at the wrong time and cannot check emotional outbursts.
If you find your child suffering from the above, ensure timely treatment. With proper ADHD treatment- psychostimulants, therapy or both- such children can show dramatic difference.