Nowadays, it seems children are getting diagnosed with ADHD way too often. Maybe that is because so many children were never diagnosed until medical research found the answers. It’s scary to think that children are being medicated with mind-altering drugs, but sad to think many have suffered needlessly. If you have a child that suffers from this medical condition, it can disrupt the entire household on a daily basis, not to mention how miserable the child can be not being on the proper treatment. So, what are the signs and how can you tell if your child needs to be under a physician’s care?
ADHD can be very hard to diagnose because children are just naturally hyper and active. ADHD stands for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Health Central talked with Flora Howie, MD, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to find out what the signs are for a child that could in need of treatment.
Signs of ADHD in children:
- Excessive hyperactivity. If your child simply cannot rest but is on a treadmill of activities throughout the day.
- Inability to sustain attention. Children naturally have a short attention span. If by the first grade they cannot focus for 25 minutes, they may be ADHD.
- Constantly distracted. When a child cannot follow commands, can’t finish homework or chores because they are being distracted by simple things when they are old enough to finish a simple meal, they may have a problem.
- High impulsivity. This happens when a child does something they shouldn’t do first and thinks about it later. There is no filter to pause. This child will bring disruption in the classroom by doing things they know that they shouldn’t.
- Prone to accidents. The ADHD child seems to always have a broken bone, bruise, or accident by simple things they cannot get a handle on.
- Sleep disorders. They seem to always have nightmares, wake up during the night, and even wet their bed. This causes them to also not be able to concentrate during the day from lack of sleep.
- They have difficulty reading social cues. By the time they start school, they should be able to read other children’s reactions to things that irritate them. The child with ADHD might repeat something over and over until they get the attention they are seeking to find.
There’s also a link to autism. Between 30% to 50% of children with autism-spectrum disorder also have ADHD, and that can make each diagnosis more challenging.
It’s helpful to work with someone familiar with both disorders to get a complete diagnosis, ADDitude magazine notes. If you feel your child may be suffering, contact your physician and get feedback from their teachers and counselors at school. Once there is a diagnosis, everyone’s world will change for the better, especially the child. They will also learn how to accept their condition.
According to the parent reports, 6.4 million children (11% of this age group 4–17 years) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, and rates of ever-diagnosed ADHD increased an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.
Ref. MSN/health, healthcentral.com, chadd.org
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