Does my kid have ADHD?
What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. Children with ADHD have trouble focusing, controlling impulsive behaviors, and more. They are typically diagnosed in childhood, though their symptoms will last into adulthood. There’s also three different ways that ADHD presents itself: Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, and Combined Presentation, where symptoms of both types are equally present. ADHD symptoms can also change over time, which means that the presentation can change too. For treatment, usually ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For children in preschool, behavior therapy is usually first attempted before trying medicine.
Signs of ADHD in Children
Children with ADHD might experience fidgeting, a low attention span, excessive talking or interrupting, and constantly feeling the need to run around. They also might have a hard time focusing on activities or become easily distracted during day to day activities. It’s also possible that when they engage in activities they are loud and disruptive. Overall, if you notice that your child is unable to sit still and has a hard time paying attention, it might be a good idea to get them checked for ADHD.
Signs of ADHD in Teenagers
ADHD symptoms can also change as children get older. Some symptoms might become less problematic with age while other symptoms might become harder to manage. Other symptoms that can appear as your child gets older include difficulty focusing on school work, trouble with organization, trouble navigating relationships, difficulty with time management, and difficulty finishing tasks like homework. They might frequently forget things, frequently avoid challenging tasks, and frequently make mistakes while working. Having trouble with these symptoms might also make for an increased conflict at home with parents.
If you suspect your child has ADHD, you should first learn all you can about the disorder. Then, make sure your child has a comprehensive assessment with a medical professional. There are resources, support groups, therapists, and more for both parents and children affected by ADHD. You can learn more about the resources and support options here. Ingrid Higgins and Campbell Teen and Family Therapy can help. Therapy can help the child or teen with learning how to better focus, how to improve self esteem and how to be successful in school. We can evaluate, confirm a diagnosis, our psychiatrist can provide medication if needed, and coach parents on navigating this journey. Our therapists are also experts at coordinating services with schools and can talk with your child’s counselor about implementing a plan that is right for your child. Click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our therapists.