ADHD (previously known as ADD) is a behavioral disorder that affects 5-10% of children. Knowing the warning signs of ADHD can help us know if we should seek medial attention for our children.
- Does your child have trouble paying attention? They don’t appear to be listening and struggle to follow directions when they are given.
- Does your child forget things easily? Do they leave their coat at school, forget their lunch money, or where they put their book?
- Does your child have a hard time sitting still? Are they always getting out of their chair, running around? Are they constantly running around and climbing on things?
- Does your child lack self control? Do they routinely interrupt other people when they are talking? Invade others space, and ask questions that are too personal? Do they show little regard for how much they talk, talking endlessly? Does your child cut others off when they are talking, jumping in to answer questions before the entire question has been asked?
- Does your child appear emotional? Whether they are happy or sad, are emotions exaggerated? Are their outbursts and temper tantrums that don’t seem to have a valid reason?
- Does your child have a hard time waiting their turn? Do they always seem impatient and irritated when they have to wait?
- Does your child get stuck on a certain task? When you ask them to put something down, or move on to something else, is this difficult for them to do? Do they struggle with transitions?
- Does your child leave tasks undone? Is he/she easily distracted, and struggles to finish jobs and responsibilities?
- Does your child act before they think? Do they disregard consequences and act any-way?
- Does your child avoid doing hard things? When a task is difficult do they either avoid it all together, or does it cause them undo stress?
For a child’s behavior to be considered for an ADHD diagnosis…
-Children must exhibit ADHD behaviors before they are 7.
-These behaviors must be more severe than in other kids their same age.
-The behaviors must occur and have negative effects in at least two areas of the child’s life (such as school and home, or school and church.)
-The behaviors must not be linked to stresses at home, such as a death in the family, an illness or divorce.
As parents it can be really hard to know what to do and how to help children with behavior disorders. Diet, exercise, therapy, and even medication (when applicable) can help our children and our households. The best place to start is with a trusted medical professional.
Homemaker, wife and mother. My husband and I have five children. On the side I am an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University where I received a Masters Degree in Youth and Family Recreation. Three times a week I endeavor to teach college students the importance of families doing things together. Then I come home and try to figure out how to implement what I just taught. Believe me I know, It is a lot easier said than done. I used to speak French, wish I could dance, and will almost always choose fruity over chocolate.
Heather is the author of Family Volley, where writes about parenting, motherhood and relationships.