Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a child’s inability to stay focused on the task at hand or to concentrate for more than a couple of minutes. This is more than just a daydreamer or a child who is bored in class, this disorder can really impact your child’s academic performance and may lead to behavioral problems. Studies show that 8 – 10% of children of school-going age have ADHD and that boys are three times more likely to have the disorder than girls. Luckily, there are many techniques for dealing with ADHD that can help to ensure that your child excels academically.
When your child is disruptive in class, they get negative reactions from teachers and they miss out on the vital building blocks of their academic knowledge. High-energy kids often interrupt and sometimes have trouble waiting their turn which can lead to social problems. Children with ADHD aren’t being willful or purposefully misbehaving, they genuinely have trouble focusing on any one task for more than a couple of minutes.
One of the biggest problems with ADHD is that there are so many symptoms associated with the disorder and it’s imperative that you consult a professional for diagnosis. Start with your family doctor who will refer your child to a neurologist or psychologist for evaluation. There is a long list of symptoms which should be present regardless of mood or circumstance and must manifest before the child is seven. The symptoms include:
- An inability to focus for more than a few minutes
- Difficulty listening and following instructions
- Lack of attention to detail which can show up as mistakes in schoolwork
- Being forgetful and disorganized and often losing things
- Having trouble sitting down and fidgeting constantly
- Being very talkative and loud and interrupting often
- Having trouble waiting for their turn
Dealing with ADHD
There are so many options for parents of children with ADHD that you can find solutions that help your child to thrive at school and at home. From medication to behavioral therapies and diets, you can opt for the solution (or combination of solutions) which best suit your family.
It’s essential to speak with your teachers about the situation and to work with them to find ways to help reinforce good behavior patterns. Teachers already have a playbook of ways in which to deal with children who are easily distracted. They can seat them away from the window and in the front of the class where it’s easier to refocus them on the lesson.
Children with ADHD can learn to focus, they can acquire organizational skills and they can really fulfill their potential academically and socially. If you work together with your medical team and your teachers and tutors, your child can turn their high energy levels into a wonderful asset.