How Do I Know If My Child Has ADHD?
With children, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD can be very hard to detect. Some symptoms may come across as usual in the eyes of a parent or a guardian. This is why it's essential, as a parent, that you don't self-diagnose.
Understanding ADHD, its definition, and symptoms are vital to prevent severe delays or developmental progress. So, how do you know if your child might have ADHD?
Presence of Inattentiveness
Inattentiveness may be very difficult to detect. Why? Because most kids tend to lose interest in activities, especially if it's about studying or learning.
Being inattentive may manifest behaviorally in different ways: Doing another task and then lacking the persistence to finish tasks, finding it hard to focus, and being disorganized are examples of inattentiveness.
If six or more symptoms of inattentiveness are observed, your child can be diagnosed with ADHD. Here are signs from the ADHD diagnostic criteria in the DSM V:
- Failing to give attention to details or usually makes careless mistakes.
- Can't sustain or remain focused on tasks, conversations, or reading.
- Doesn't follow instructions and fails to finish chores on time.
- Is distracted when being confronted or spoken to directly.
- Can't manage or organize tasks, time, and belongings.
- Usually avoids or doesn't engage with tasks that require a lot of mental or physical effort (doing schoolwork or learning new skills).
- Often loses belongings or things that are needed for tasks (keys, school materials, books, and phone).
- Mostly forgetful in daily activities.
Your Kid is Hyperactive and Impulsive
Hyperactivity is one of the ADHD diagnostic criteria. If your child is excessively active or has excessive motor activity, your kid may be diagnosed with ADHD.
Being impulsive is also one of the ADHD criteria. It may look like doing things at the moment without thinking about the consequences. Impulsivity may also be seen whenever someone isn't able to control or delay what they want to do.
This may look like interrupting someone during conversations because you thought of something. Another example may be engaging in commitments or roles even though you haven't thought of the responsibility you have to carry.
ADHD screening requires six or more symptoms under the ADHD diagnostic criteria. The symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity should take up more than six months. The symptoms are as follows:
- Often fidgets; squirms in the seat and taps hands or feet.
- Cannot remain seated when expected to.
- Feeling restless so he or she may attempt to run away or climb in inappropriate places.
- It is considered unruly or loud because of the kid's inability to play quietly.
- Cannot stay still.
- Talks too much.
- Might interrupt people when talking.
- Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn during conversations, waiting in line, or other activities.
- May interrupt or intrude on other people during discussions, games, events, and using other's belongings.
Your Kid's Behavior Affects His or Her School, Social or Personal Progress.
As the ADHD criteria can be subtly seen during childhood by a parent, a mental health professional can be help pinpoint if your child has ADHD.
One of the ADHD diagnostic criteria implies that if such behavior is destructive in two or more settings, your child's assessment in the ADHD screening may vary.
Home, school, settings with friends or relatives, and in other settings are critical to consider. If your child's progress in those settings is affected by his or her behavior, it may develop psychosocial delays.
ADHD usually begins during childhood. ADHD criteria may also be different in every child suspected to have one. The symptoms may vary depending on the settings, but if it's resulting in delays in learning, relationships, or behavioral growth, it's essential to consult a mental health professional. Consulting a mental health professional can help you obtain the baseline information you need to learn to help your child grow.