ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a type of behavioral problem most commonly diagnosed among children; the ratio of boys to girls being 3:1. It is said to appear at the onset of early childhood. However, children under seven years of age may already exhibit signs and symptoms of this type of disorder. ADHD is characterized by short attention span, lack of concentration and unruly and inappropriate behavior due to hyperactivity. Such behaviors are products of abnormal functioning in areas of the brain responsible for organizing thought. These characteristics are manifested at home, at school and other social environments. Children with this disorder fare behind their peers in terms of observing accepted regulation processes at home and school.
How do you recognize ADHD?
- Your child does not pay attention when you are talking to him. Children with ADHD appear to be distracted most of the time. Minor tasks are incomprehensible to them because information and instructions are not well understood. To validate these symptoms, you must be able to compare your child's responsive behaviors to peers. Peers should be able to understand simple instructions and perform minor tasks successfully.
- Most children enjoy playing. However, for children with ADHD, playtime is not a time for enjoyment, as they could not focus on the tasks required by the game. Repetitive actions are considered boring for them, as they want to do new things all the time. They can also be very noisy when playing that is why peers do not consider them as ideal playmates.
- They can be disorganized in actions and thoughts. Coherence is not their forte, as the chemicals responsible for organizing thoughts in their brain do not function normally.
- They usually lose personal things such as toys, books and the like.
- They easily get irritated and anxious if they are required to stay in one place and/or do one task in one sitting. They stand up every so often and create inappropriate noise (loud and angry) when confined.
- They can also be very impatient when waiting for their turn. They interrupt others when talking and joins games even when not asked.
- They manifest impulsive behaviors such as fidgeting, squirming and nonstop talking. If they know answers to questions, they blurt out answers before a question is finished.
- They are always on the go. They run around, climb trees or tall objects without realizing the potential dangers. They stand from their chairs constantly especially when they are asked not to.
- They avoid or disregard tasks that use mental work.
- They have a growing need to manipulate and dominate situations, which creates conflict among teachers and peers. They have low sense of self due to avoidance and rejection of social peers and authorities.
- They are learning deficient, as the demands of work at school are too much for them. They do not have the capability to receive and process information as compared to peers of their age.
- They can be very aggressive in actions as a response to rejection of peers and rejection of social authorities.
There are many other symptoms of ADHD that you need to take into account before considering your child may have ADHD. If signs and symptoms mentioned above persist for six months or more, then you need to seek professional help.