Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it difficult to concentrate and as a result of their hyperactively, they are often passed off as inattentive and having “too much energy”. Sometimes they may appear to be overactive, fidgety and disruptive and parents and teachers are quick to label the child ‘naughty’.
Children with ADD or ADHD often make the home and school environment stressful and if not diagnosed properly, adults may have a hard time dealing with them. It is important that the caregivers of an ADD or ADHD child are not dismissed as merely disobedient but they should try to understand the underlying issues for the child’s hyperactivity and lack of ability to concentrate.
ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Diagnosis
An ADD or ADHD child may not be spotted immediately but if you feel like your child may suffer from it, it is important to see a trained and qualified psychiatrist immediately.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, an ADHD child must satisfy certain criteria for them to be declared as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.An ADHD child must show at least six or more of the symptoms of ADHD, from one of the two categories as listed below. Also, ADHD may also be confirmed if a child shows six or more of the signs from each of the two categories.
The symptoms for the diagnosis of ADHD & ADD are divided into two categories – Inattention & Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork other activities.
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork or chores (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (for example, toys, school assignments, pencils, books).
- Is often easily distracted.
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity
- Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate.
- Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed.
- Often has difficulty awaiting turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (for example, butts into conversations or games).
Other ADHD Symptoms
In addition to the symptoms highlighted above, an ADD or ADHD child usually shows some of these signs as well:
- Has inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive signs and symptoms that caused impairment and were present before the age of 7 years.
- Exhibits behavior that is not ‘normal’ for children the same age who do not have ADHD.
- Has symptoms for at least six months.
If your child is showing any of these symptoms and you are worried, you should seek disability help immediately so they can receive the right help.