Does your child have trouble sitting still? Or maybe it seems like they are easily distracted, their mind wandering even when you are trying to talk to them? If so, you might be wondering if your child has ADHD.
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. And while there is usually no one sign or clue that will tell you whether or not your child is suffering from the condition, here are some things you should look out for.
What Are the Signs of ADHD?
Children with ADHD are often hyperactive. They have a hard time sitting still and settling down. Getting them to stay in their seat can make be a major undertaking. And if they have to stay in one spot for more than a few minutes, you can expect a lot of fidgeting and squirming.
Some children with ADHD can’t seem to stop talking. In fact, they might interrupt while you’re talking to someone else because they just can’t wait to tell you something.
Many children with ADHD are also impatient. For example, they might have a hard time “waiting their turn” when playing with friends. And if you take freshly baked cookies out of the other, the child might try to grab one, even while it’s still scalding hot. Not that they don’t understand that touching something hot is bad. But, in that moment, they couldn’t resist the impulse to grab that cookie.
An attention deficit can be a little harder to spot than hyperactivity. However, think of the talks you’ve had with your child. When a child has ADHD, it will sometimes feel like you’ve “lost them” in the middle of the conversation. You might have to repeat yourself because their minds wandered and they missed part of what you said.
Many children with ADHD have a hard time focusing on one thing for long enough to finish it. They’ll get distracted by something else and leave their homework undone, their lunch uneaten, and their bedroom half cleaned.
Children with ADHD can also seem forgetful. They’ll often misplace things, from books, to jackets, to their favorite toys.
Is It Really ADHD?
ADHD can be hard to spot because the symptoms of the condition also qualify as normal childhood behavior. All children can be hyperactive, experiencing bursts of energy that wear out their poor parents. All children sometimes find it difficult to pay attention, especially when something doesn’t interest them. There isn’t a child on the planet who hasn’t squirmed and fidgeted in their seat, or chatted a mile a minute about something that happened at school that day.
But for a child with ADHD, these behaviors are constant. And their inability to pay attention, or settle down, has a negative impact on their daily lives.
For example, your child’s teacher tells you that they don’t pay attention in class, and can’t seem to sit still in their seat. But if they don’t act the same way at home, chances are they don’t have ADHD. It could be that they just aren’t interested in what they’re being taught. Or they might have a learning disability that hasn’t been recognized yet.
However, if your child shows sign of having ADHD at home, at school, and even when playing with friends, a doctor’s visit is in order. And if it turns out your child does have ADHD, you can start taking steps to help them overcome this condition.