ADHD – or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – is one of the most common health issues in kids. It’s called a health “issue” because it will impact the way your child develops. Simple things, like learning in class, will be harder for a child with ADHD. There shouldn’t be any serious health-related concerns to worry about, though the way your child thinks and deals with situations can differ from what’s considered “normal”.
For a parent, there are two key things to keep in mind:
- ADHD can be treated, or rather your child can be taught how to manage the symptoms
- It’s better to diagnose ADHD early on, making it easier for your child to adapt and grow up without feeling like something is wrong with them but never knowing until they’re an adult
With that in mind, this post will look at some telltale signs your child has ADHD. Spotting these signs won’t immediately indicate if they have it, but when multiple are present there’s a good chance they will. It lets you know that a visit to a specialist is in order, so you can get help.
So, let’s jump into these signs!
A lack of attention
ADHD can be split into two main symptom categories: inattention and hyperactivity. For this section, we’ll look at some obvious signs your child lacks a good attention span. Keep in mind that most attention spans are awful in young children! Experts usually say that a child should be able to hold their attention for 2-3 minutes per year of their age. If your child is 5, they should have a 10 to 15-minute attention span.
So, how do you tell if your child’s attention is consistently worse than this? Here are some warning signs of inattention to keep an eye on:
- Your child jumps from one task to the next – Does your child seem to jump around between tasks or play loads of different games all in one go? It’s a good idea to monitor their behaviour when they’re playing to see if they switch between games really quickly. One moment they’re drawing, then the next they’re playing with something else, and before you know it they’re onto the next task. If this happens regularly, it could be a sign of a lack of attention.
- They never pay attention – Are you always asking your child to listen to you? Does it take ages before they respond to their name or pay attention to what you’re asking? You may even receive letters from school or notes from teachers saying your child doesn’t focus in class or seems to be daydreaming a lot.
- Their organization skills are poor – When left to their own devices, does your child make a mess everywhere? Are they really bad at cleaning up after themselves or organizing their toys? While poor organization skills aren’t directly a sign of ADHD, they can show a lack of attention.
- They are easily distracted meaning tasks take longer to finish – Again, this is something teachers may flag up when you pick your child up from school. They’ve noticed it takes your child twice as long to do things when compared to others. They keep getting distracted and looking for ways to avoid doing the task. You may notice this at home when they eat or do homework. It takes them way longer to finish a meal because they keep talking or finding things that distract them.
The second part of ADHD stands for hyperactivity disorder. As such, children with this condition are going to be very hyperactive. Again, most young children are very excitable, but there are some signs to watch for that may indicate ADHD:
- They fidget a lot – A child that’s constantly moving and fidgeting has almost too much energy to burn up. This is a telltale sign of hyperactivity.
- They’re always talking – If your child talks all the time, and talks very quickly without taking any breaths, then there’s a strong chance they’re very hyperactive.
- Your child won’t stop moving – In some ways, your child is like a pet dog. They get the zoomies and can’t stop running around the house or doing things at 110%. While they may jump from one activity to the next, they do so at lightning speed.
- They always interrupt – A very big sign of hyperactivity is when your child keeps interrupting things. They may constantly butt in during conversations or interrupt games with lots of random questions.
What to do if you think your child has ADHD?
Spotting one or two of these symptoms won’t mean your child has ADHD. However, when a handful from both sections are present, the signs seemingly point towards this outcome.
What should you do next?
Three things should be considered, two of which are essential:
- See a medical specialist – Book an appointment with your family doctor and they will assess your child and either diagnose ADHD or refer you to a specialist. From here, they can offer different treatment possibilities. This includes medication, but medical specialists will normally set you up with therapists who can help your child deal with the symptoms in the long term.
- Consult the school – After receiving a diagnosis, always consult the school and inform them. As a result, they can put systems in place to help your child, making the learning experience better for them.
- Consider natural supplements – ADHD is caused by things happening in the brain. The exact cause is unknown, but there are links between ADHD and certain hormones. Therefore, the best natural supplement for ADHD in children is a probiotic mix. The idea is that it improves the gut microbiome which improves hormone regulation and leads to a more balanced gut-brain axis. In turn, your child’s brain should receive a better balance of hormones to calm symptoms. It’s always worth trying natural supplements as they don’t tend to have side effects when taken correctly.
To conclude, ADHD is nothing to be overly worried about. It is important to diagnose it early on when you have children, preferably before they even get to school. With the right treatment and help, a child can grow up with ADHD and face almost no problems at all. Don’t ignore the signs and symptoms as it’s much harder for a child to grow and develop when they have undiagnosed ADHD.