ADHD is an abbreviation that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is one of the most common complex mental health disorders affecting American children today. If your child has ADHD it can affect their chances of academic success, make it harder for them to form relationships, impact their ability to focus, use self-control, and even to employ simple skills that are required for daily life.
As with most mental health conditions, the symptoms of ADHD vary widely and can be difficult to recognize. As a parent, trying to diagnose your child can be frustrating and bewildering. However, an early diagnoses is always the best way to ensure that your child is given the extra care and attention that they need to successfully navigate through their life.
So, here are 6 signs to look out for that will help you in determining whether you should take your child to a medical professional to be tested for ADHD.
1. Your child is self-focused
Of course, children all have the ability to be self-focused as they are still learning about empathy and understanding. But a common sign of ADHD is that your child seems to struggle to recognize other people’s needs and desires more than other children do. This self-focus will often lead to frequent interrupting within conversations and also means that you’re likely to notice your child including themselves in games without permission from others.
2. They undergo emotional turmoil
Keeping emotions under a certain level of control is hard for a child with ADHD. It’s common that children with ADHD will have outbursts of anger and temper tantrums that are more severe than the average child’s.
3. They lack focus
Children with ADHD find that keeping their attention on one thing is very hard. This doesn’t just mean concentrating throughout an entire math class, it means that even when someone is speaking to them, they may stop listening half way through the conversation.
4. They fidget and don’t finish tasks
Their inability to properly focus also results in an inability to sit still and complete their tasks. When forced to stay in one place, they may display ADHD symptoms like fidgeting, squirming, and defying instructions. What’s more, they will likely begin projects and then get bored or distracted before they complete then, resulting in piles of unfinished work.
5. They avoid tasks that require prolonged mental effort
A child with ADHD who lacks focus and struggles to finish tasks will often learn to avoid tasks that require focus for an extended period of time. If your child constantly avoids homework (no matter how enjoyable they find the topic to be) then this may be a sign that they have ADHD.
6. They make more mistakes than other children
Children with ADHD are more likely to make mistakes than those without ADHD because they struggle to follow instructions that require planning and follow through. This will often lead to mistakes that can be misunderstood as laziness or a lack of intelligence – neither of which is accurate.
So if your child is displaying these symptoms it’s important to seek medical advice so that a qualified medical professional can begin an investigation into your child’s potential ADHD, giving you a diagnosis and treatment plan as early as possible.
This is a guest post written by Anthony Cerullo of Founders Family Medicine and Urgent Care