What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect a child’s success at school, as well as their relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary and are sometimes difficult to recognize.
Any child may experience many of the individual symptoms of ADHD. So, to make a diagnosis, your child’s doctor will need to evaluate your child using several criteria.
ADHD is generally diagnosed in children by the time they’re teenagers, with the average age for moderate ADHD diagnosis is 7 years old trusted Source. Older children exhibiting symptoms may have ADHD, but they’ve often exhibited rather elaborate symptoms early in life.
For information about ADHD symptoms in adults, this article can help.
Symptoms of ADHD
Usually, children have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.
Below are a few common signs and symptoms of ADHD:
- Daydream a lot
- Forget or lose things a lot
- Squirm or fidget
- Talk too much
- Lack of focus
- Make careless mistakes
- Take unnecessary risks
- Have a hard time resisting temptation
- Have trouble taking turns due to self-focused behavior
- Have difficulty getting along with others
- Interrupt games or other activities where they are not part of
- Cannot keep their emotions under check and have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times
ADHD children may show interest in a lot of things but may have problems finishing them. They move on to the next thing that catches their interest before finishing the previous one.
Usually, children with ADHD are less organized. They may have trouble keeping a track of tasks and activities. This can cause problems at school because they can find it hard to prioritize homework, school projects, and other assignments.
Here are 14 common signs of ADHD in children:
A common sign of ADHD is what looks like an inability to recognize other people’s needs and desires. This can lead to the next two signs: interrupting and trouble to wait their turn.
Self-focused behavior may cause a child with ADHD to interrupt others while they’re talking or butt into conversations or games they’re not part of.
3-Trouble waiting their turn
Kids with ADHD may have trouble waiting their turn during classroom activities or when playing games with other children.
A child with ADHD may have trouble keeping their emotions in check. They may have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times. Younger children may have temper tantrums.
Children with ADHD often can’t sit still. They may try to get up and run around, fidget, or squirm in their chair when forced to sit.
6-Problems playing quietly
Fidgetiness can make it difficult for kids with ADHD to play quietly or engage calmly in leisure activities.
A child with ADHD may show interest in lots of different things, but they may have problems finishing them. For example, they may start projects, chores, or homework, but move on to the next thing that catches their interest before finishing.
8-Lack of focus
A child with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, even when someone is speaking directly to them. They’ll say they heard you, but they won’t be able to repeat back to you what you just said.
9-Avoidance of tasks needing extended mental effort
This same lack of focus can cause a child to avoid activities that require a sustained mental effort, such as paying attention in class or doing homework.
Children with ADHD can have trouble following instructions that require planning or executing a plan. This can then lead to careless mistakes — but it doesn’t indicate laziness or a lack of intelligence.
Children with ADHD aren’t always rambunctious and loud. Another sign of ADHD is being quieter and less involved than other kids.
A child with ADHD may stare into space, daydream, and ignore what’s going on around them.
12-Trouble getting organized
A child with ADHD may have trouble keeping track of tasks and activities. This can cause problems at school, as they can find it hard to prioritize homework, school projects, and other assignments.
Kids with ADHD may be forgetful in daily activities. They may forget to do chores or their homework. They may also lose things often, such as toys.
14-Symptoms in multiple settings
A child with ADHD will show symptoms of the condition in more than one setting. For instance, they may show a lack of focus both in school and at home.
How can ADHD be treated?
What works best can depend on the child and family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.
In most cases, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For children aged four to five years with ADHD, behavior therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is tried.
Medications can help children manage their ADHD symptoms in their everyday life and can help them control their behaviors that cause difficulties with family and friends, and at school.
These medications are divided into two types:
They are the best-known and most widely used ADHD medications. Between 70% and 80% of children with ADHD have fewer ADHD symptoms when they take these fast-acting medications. Stimulants, which contain various forms of methylphenidate and amphetamine, have a calming effect on hyperactive children with ADHD. They are believed to increase brain levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, attention, and movement.
These were approved for the treatment of children with ADHD in 2003. They do not work as quickly as stimulants, but their effect can last up to 24 hours. Strattera (atomoxetine), Intuniv (guanfacine), and Kapvay (clonidine) are the non-stimulants that provide a useful alternative for children who do not tolerate stimulants well.