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Does My Child Have ADHD?

Signs of ADHD in Kids

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a very complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a child's ability to succeed in school and relationships. The signs of ADHD can vary between children and are often difficult to recognize. Only a licensed clinician can diagnose ADHD; however, if you notice any of the following symptoms, it's important to visit a doctor for a more thorough evaluation.

Self-focused behavior: Children with ADHD often have difficulty identifying the desires and needs of others. They may often demonstrate this by interrupting others of butting into games or conversations they are not part of. They may also have difficulty waiting for their turns. Children with severe ADHD may also have trouble showing empathy for other people or animals.

Emotional issues: Children who have ADHD often have trouble regulating their emotions. They may have shocking outbursts of anger in public or at inappropriate times. Their emotional responses may also be out of proportion with stimuli. For instance, they may respond with rage, extreme frustration or severe distress in response to the slightest disappointment.

Fidgetiness: Kids with ADHD often have trouble sitting still. They may feel compelled to get up and run around, squirm or fidget in their chairs when required to sit. ADHD can also make it hard for children to play quietly or calmly engage in peaceful leisure activities.

Lack of focus. Although children with ADHD may show strong interest in a variety of different things, they often have trouble finishing them. For instance, they may begin chores, projects or homework, but get distracted by something that catches their interest before finishing. Kids with ADHD may also avoid activities that demand sustained mental effort, such as doing homework or paying attention in class. A child with ADHD may also struggle to pay attention, even when you speak directly to them. They will often say they heard you but be unable to repeat what you just said.

Organizational issues: A child who has ADHD may have difficulty keeping track of activities and tasks. This can cause trouble at school, as they have problems prioritizing school projects, homework and other assignments. Kids with ADHD can also have trouble planning, following instructions or executing a plan. This can result in careless errors, which shouldn't be viewed as laziness or a lack of intelligence.

Getting Help

The average age of kids referred for evaluations for ADHD is between 7 and 12. Kids are typically referred because they are underachieving academically or demonstrating behavior problems at school or at home. Because they have inconsistent control over impulses and attention, kids with ADHD often experience failures socially, academically and within the family. As a result, they may start to have issues with self-esteem. Counseling and education can help restore self-esteem, making it an essential component of treatment for kids with ADHD.

Unfortunately, symptoms of ADHD tend to get worse as kids grow into adulthood and face life's increasing demands and pressures. Because of this, it's important to identify potential issues early on and intervene with therapy designed to recognize potential issues and help kids develop the skills and behaviors that are needed for happy, stable lives.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!