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Resources and Indicators

Symptoms of impulsivity (hyperactivity) in children:

  • Acts without thinking
  • Blurts out answers in class without waiting to be called on or hear the whole question
  • Can’t wait for his or her turn in line or in games
  • Says the wrong thing at the wrong time
  • Often interrupts others
  • Intrudes on other people’s conversations or games
  • Inability to keep powerful emotions in check, resulting in angry outbursts or temper tantrums
  • Guesses, rather than taking time to solve a problem

Symptoms of inattention in children:

  • Doesn’t pay attention to details
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Has trouble staying focused; is easily distracted
  • Appears not to listen when spoken to
  • Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions
  • Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
  • Gets bored with a task before it’s completed
  • Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items

Positive effects of ADD / ADHD in children

In addition to the challenges, there are also positive traits associated with people who have attention deficit disorder:

  • Creativity – Children who have ADD/ADHD can be marvelously creative and imaginative. The child who daydreams and has ten different thoughts at once can become a master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an inventive artist. Children with ADD/ADHD may be easily distracted, but sometimes they notice what others don’t see.
  • Flexibility – Because children with ADD/ADHD consider a lot of options at once, they don’t become set on one alternative early on and are more open to different ideas.
  • Enthusiasm and spontaneity – Children with ADD/ADHD are rarely boring! They’re interested in a lot of different things and have lively personalities. In short, if they’re not exasperating you (and sometimes even when they are), they’re a lot of fun to be with.
  • Energy and drive – When kids with ADD/ADHD are motivated, they work or play hard and strive to succeed. It actually may be difficult to distract them from a task that interests them, especially if the activity is interactive or hands-on.

Keep in mind, too, that ADD/ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or talent. Many children with ADD/ADHD are intellectually or artistically gifted.

Is it really ADD / ADHD?

Just because a child has symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity does not mean that he or she has ADD or ADHD. Certain medical conditions, psychological disorders, and stressful life events can cause symptoms that look like ADD / ADHD.

Before an accurate diagnosis of ADD / ADHD can be made, it is important that you see a mental health professional to explore and rule out the following possibilities:

  • Learning disabilities or problems with reading, writing, motor skills, or language.
  • Major life events or traumatic experiences (e.g. a recent move, death of a loved one, bullying, divorce).
  • Psychological disorders including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
  • Behavioral disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
  • Medical conditions, including thyroid problems, neurological conditions, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

 

If You Think Your Child May Have ADD/ADHD

 

Path 1

To get medication you must see your pediatrician.  They will start a series of tests to be completed by your child’s teacher and yourself.  After these are compiled they will be able to tell you if your child has ADD/ADHD.  They will then suggest a course of treatment.

 

Path 2

Contact the school in your district where your child would go to public school.  Ask them to set up an evaluation/testing for learning disabilities or attention issues.  They will set up a series of testing for your child.  This is part of the taxes that you pay for so be persistent and don’t let them forget or have it fall through the cracks. 

When the testing is completed they will meet with you and let you know their findings and what they suggest.  This process takes quite a while; don’t be discouraged it is worth it.  The result could be that your child has some identifiable issues that retaught or addressed.  The child may be giving what they call and IEP (Individualized Education Program) which is set up by the state.  Some of the individualization maybe they need a quiet place to take a test, less spelling words or adjusted homework.  The goal is for your child to be successful and happy.

Remember that a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is not an environmental issue or a choice it is a chemical imbalance in the system that causes these behaviors.  Changing that imbalance and learning behavioral skills will make your child more successful and feeling better about themselves.


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