While these behaviors can make a child appear to be defiant or behave badly, they are not. It is much more difficult for children with ADHD to do these things than for children without ADHD. It is important that children with ADHD receive the treatment they need to manage their condition.
ADHD is a developmental disorder. The condition causes children with ADHD to have difficulty with executive function skills.
This includes many skills needed in everyday life, such as organization, time management, patience, self-control, task retention, and emotion management. Children with ADHD who have executive function problems often need extra support at school and at home.
The symptoms of ADHD can be different depending on the child. Some children will have more difficulty with certain areas than others. In general, children with ADHD have symptoms that fall into three different categories:
Children with ADHD may have problems in only one of these categories or may have symptoms in two or three categories.
Symptoms of inattention include:
- get distracted easily
- difficulty concentrating or concentrating
- difficulty completing tasks
- difficulty following instructions
- lose things often
- missing instructions details
- forget instructions or tasks
- taking too long to complete simple tasks
- dreaming or seeming lost in thought often
Symptoms of hyperactivity include:
- to be restless or restless
- get bored easily
- have a hard time staying silent
- have trouble staying still
- make careless mistakes
- disrupt class or family time
- hyper-concentration on certain tasks while ignoring others
Symptoms of impulsivity include:
- interrupt others
- think without acting
- have a hard time waiting for your turn
- having intense emotional reactions that do not correspond to the situation
- engaging in risky or dangerous behavior
All children do some of these things occasionally. Children are sometimes expected to be bored during lessons or have a hard time waiting for their turn. In children with ADHD, these behaviors are not occasional.
They occur very frequently and make it difficult for the child to succeed in school or at home. A child with ADHD may find it difficult to do homework, keep their bedroom clean, make friends, and listen to adults. This can lead to a lot of frustration for the child with ADHD and make the symptoms worse.
Symptoms may be different in older children. Children don’t get too big for ADHD, but their symptoms can change as they age and mature.
For example, a 6-year-old child with ADHD may frequently stand up in the middle of the classroom without permission and have difficulty following instructions. A 14-year-old teenager with ADHD may struggle to complete homework on time or stay organized.
ADHD is often noticed by parents or teachers. Sometimes a school can refer a specialist who can assess the child and make a diagnosis. Parents can also raise concerns with a pediatrician or other primary care provider.
Only a professional can diagnose ADHD. To make a diagnosis, they will need the contribution of adults in the child’s life. Often times, the doctor or therapist may ask you or your child’s teacher to fill out a few forms about the behaviors you have observed. They will also discuss with you and your child the behaviors and the impacts they have on your child’s daily life.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, behaviors will need to meet a few criteria. This typically includes behaviors that:
- have been present since the child is very young
- are not appropriate or expected for their age
- negatively affect the child at school and at home
- are not caused by another health or learning problem
In some cases, your child may have some tests to rule out any other possible cause for their behavior. This can include cognitive tests to look for other developmental or intellectual conditions, and their sight and hearing screenings to look for any physical impairments.
Some children have other conditions besides ADHD, such as learning disabilities or mood disorders. The doctor can treat these conditions alongside ADHD in the child.
Doctors don’t know what causes ADHD in children. There is no proven cause. ADHD is not related to parenting styles, diets, habits, or any other environmental factor.
However, the condition is probably inherited. Most children with ADHD have a close relative who also has ADHD.
ADHD cannot be avoided. Since ADHD is considered to be genetic, children with ADHD are likely born with the disease. Moreover, since there is no known cause, there is also no known way to prevent the disease.
Researchers looked at several possible risk factors for ADHD, but very few links were found. Studies have been done to see if factors like chemical exposure or alcohol consumption during pregnancy increase the risk of ADHD, but found that these things did not appear to increase the risk.
While it’s often said that ADHD is more likely to occur in boys than in girls, it isn’t fully proven or understood either.
ADHD symptoms can present differently in boys than in girls. Some researchers and advocates believe this leads to ADHD being severely underdiagnosed in girls. Currently, there are only two known risk factors for ADHD in children:
- having a parent or other close relative with ADHD
- to be born prematurely
Read this article for more information on ADHD risk factors.
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, the doctor or therapist will work with their parents to develop a treatment plan. The plan will depend on the child, but could include:
- Behavior therapy. Counseling using behavior therapy techniques can help children with ADHD manage their condition and develop the skills they need to be successful in school and at home. This type of therapy can also involve the whole family.
- Medication. ADHD medications can help children focus, pay attention, and control their impulses.
- Coaching parents / caregivers. Parents or caregivers will learn effective ways to help the child and respond to behaviors.
- Tutoring. Children with ADHD often need extra support in school. This can include extra reminders to stay focused on the task, help eliminate distractions, etc. This could also include the need for an IEP or 504 plan, more formal supports available in the child’s school to ensure they receive appropriate accommodations and supports to access the program. studies.
Treatments can change some as your child gets older. This may include trying new types of therapy, changing medications, or adding different supports at school. It is important to adjust any treatment for each particular child and the things they struggle with the most.
ADHD treatment is a team effort that requires the work of parents, teachers, doctors, therapists and the child with ADHD. Having the support they need at school and at home is important for children with ADHD. Without treatment or support, children with ADHD can struggle. This can lead to low self-esteem, depression, conflict at home, risk-taking, school failure, etc.
ADHD cannot be cured. A child with ADHD will have ADHD for the rest of their life. However, with treatment, children with ADHD can have very successful lives. Many people with ADHD do very well in school, earn graduate degrees, and pursue rewarding careers.
While most children can sometimes have difficulty listening to instructions or sitting still, children with ADHD have difficulty doing these and other executive functions on a daily basis.
Their difficulties can make it difficult for them to succeed at home and at school. However, with treatment and support, children with ADHD can manage their condition and improve their daily lives.