Symptoms of ADHD

Does Your Child Have ADHD?

Well, the signs and symptoms of ADHD are pretty self-explained – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – lack of attention (or focus) and hyperactive (cannot sit still).

You know how we often jokes about ADHD when one of our friends keeps forgetting things while multitasking.

Of course, you don’t get the diagnosis of ADHD just for being forgetful occasionally.

A child has to show that he/she has at least 6 items from that category to be classified as inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. And the child must show to have these behaviors for at least 6 months, and the behaviors are creating significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning or relationships.

A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is given when hyperactivity and impulsivity are not present. But, in general, ADHD and ADD are used interchangeably.

ADHD or ADD is usually diagnosed in childhood. We all know young children have short attention span. But if his/her attention span is unusually short-spanned for his/her age, that warrants some concern. Or an older child who is not able to stay put in his/her chair and behaves more like a toddler wandering around the classroom.

Let’s look at the list below and see how many you have.

Inattention

■ fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
■ has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
■ does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
■ does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
■ has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
■ avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
■ loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
■ easily get distracted by extraneous stimuli
■ forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity

■ fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
■ leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
■ runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
■ has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
■ “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
■ talks excessively

Impulsivity

■ blurts out answers before questions have been completed
■ has difficulty awaiting turn
■ interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

I’m sure we all can find a few of these behaviors in ourselves at one point in time. And that’s normal.

Remember, every child is different and we all learn differently. If your child’s teacher raises a concern, take the time to observe and get a proper diagnosis. Don’t jump to conclusion right away to put a label on your child.

Related article: ADHD Symptoms or Something Else?

ADHD Symptoms or Somethings Else?





ADHD Symptoms or Something Else

Getting an accurate ADD/ADHD diagnosis can be difficult as there is no scientific test to confirm the diagnosis. And the fact that many disorders share symptoms similar to ADHD symptoms can make it even harder.

People with autism can seem to lack the ability to create emotional bonds and can struggle with interactions with others. Children with autism are often over-excited when in high stimulus environments, which can mimic hyperactivity. Both children with ADHD and children with autism can have a hard time adjusting to change.

People that suffer from hearing impairments can experience problems in social situations and may have underdeveloped communication. They may have a hard time paying attention because of their inability to hear properly. Undiagnosed hearing loss can appear as missing details of conversations, not listening or not paying attention. These symptoms are also common in individuals with ADHD.

Hypothyroidism can create feelings of sadness or depression. People with ADHD can also suffer from these feelings, especially if depression is a co-existing condition. Hypothyroidism also includes symptoms of inability to concentrate and memory problems. ADHD also includes the symptom inability to concentrate, and forgetfulness can be mistaken for memory loss.

Iron Deficiency in adults causes lethargy, feeling exhausted and irritability. In infants and children, however, the symptoms include irritability, inability to concentrate, impaired cognitive skills and a short attention span. Children with ADHD also show symptoms of inability to concentrate and are distracted easily, mimicking a short attention span.

Lead poisoning, even at low levels, can create a number of problems. Some complications of lead toxicity include mental retardation, decreased school performance, short-term memory problems, inability to concentrate and decreased cognitive function. Many of these symptoms are also seen in children with ADHD.

Mental retardation can appear as emotional immaturity. Some symptoms include limited social skills, school performance issues and needing extra time to learn. Symptoms of mild mental retardation include forgetfulness and the inability to connect consequences with actions.

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, can cause a number of symptoms similar to ADHD including aggression, hyperactivity, and inability to sit still or low concentration levels.

In addition, some people also have an adverse reaction to chemicals in food, such as, MSG, red dye, corn syrup or additional additives. These reactions can include anger, agitation, impulsiveness, hyperactivity and lack of concentration.

For children with sensory disorder, overstimulation can create symptoms similar to ADHD. They may take risks without understanding the danger, quickly jump from activity to activity, be accident-prone or have difficulty paying attention.

Although people with ADHD notoriously have difficulty sleeping, they may or may not have a sleep disorder. The inability to get a good night’s sleep interferes with many daytime activities. People that lack sleep can have a hard time concentrating, communicating, following directions, and may suffer decreased short-term memory. People with ADHD may experience many of these symptoms, unrelated to getting a good night’s sleep.