Every child is more than capable of exhibiting symptoms of ADD/ADHD now and again, but it doesn’t always warrant a diagnosis and treatment plan. Sometimes kids are just rowdy and hard to handle. The point is to learn to differentiate between normal childhood insanity and a real behavioral challenge.
Luckily, the internet is filled with all the information you could possibly need regarding ADD and ADHD. With a bit of effort and research, you can quickly make a more educated conclusion on whether or not to seek help for your child.
With more information, you will feel better equipped to decide whether your child needs to see a physician. Here is a very brief breakdown of some of the most common signs and symptoms that your child may struggle with ADD or ADHD.
What constitutes a diagnosis
There are strict guidelines for diagnosing a child with ADD or ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that a child “must exhibit ADHD behaviors before the age of seven and consistently for at least six months” before they are considered for a diagnosis.
Boys are diagnosed three times more often than their female counterparts, and often show more symptoms relating to hyperactivity. Little girls often express symptoms in a more passive manner, making it a little more difficult to diagnose in females.
Behavioral factors of ADD/ADHD
The outward signs of ADD/ADHD are typically behaviors that most children already exhibit, but the ADD/ADHD child will exhibit them much more often and with flair. Here are a few of the physical/behavioral factors included in diagnosing your child with ADD/ADHD.
- Constantly fidgeting, squirming, or moving around.
- Incapable of sitting in the same place for any significant length of time.
- Excessively runs and climbs things.
- The child will cut in line or interrupt games to be immersed in the action.
- Losses things more often than is considered normal.
Mental/Cognitive factors of ADD/ADHD
Though you cannot actually get inside the mind of your child, you can see mental disruption all over your child’s face. There are a few specific behaviors that may be an effect of your child having trouble processing their thoughts.
- Your child doesn’t really retain information from experiences.
- Child has problems following even simple directions.
- Your kid can’t plan ahead.
- Unable to focus on details or activity sequences.
- The child often “goes off into their own world.”
Treatment options for children
Most of the time, parents settle for prescription medications as treatment for ADD/ADHD, but there are more ways than one to help your child function more effectively in the world. Before placing your child on a long-term medication plan, consider the side effects carefully.
Alternatively, there are more practical changes that could help your child adjust more comfortably. Simple dietary, sleeping, exercise, and routines changes can make life much easier on you and your child.