ADHD or Just Energetic? How to Tell the Difference
March 27, 2015
The instances of ADHD rise with each passing year and the latest figures put it at around 12% of the student population. Sadly, many students go undiagnosed as their symptoms are difficult to differentiate from normal rambunctious childhood behavior. When children are diagnosed, diet and exercise changes and an alteration in teaching techniques can help them to blossom. Here are some basic guidelines to look out for if you suspect that your child may have ADHD.
Most ADHD symptoms are concentrated on the inability to focus and hyperactivity. Since most children go through phases where they exhibit these kinds of behaviors, it can be very difficult for parents to discern ADHD symptoms from normal boisterous behavior. Some of the most prominent symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating for more than a few minutes
- Inability to listen or follow instructions
- Constantly losing things
- Lack of attention to detail which can show up as mistakes in schoolwork
- Having trouble sitting down
- Constant fidgeting
- Being very talkative and loud
- Interrupting often
- Having trouble waiting their turn
When should I be Worried?
If your child displays these behaviors from time to time, you probably don’t have to worry too much. All children will exhibit some or all of these behaviors at different phases in their lives. What you want to look out for is a consistent inability to focus, students who are struggling academically and children who are not fitting in socially because of the symptoms outlined above. When these symptoms start to impact their development both academically and socially, it’s time to act.
Speak with your child’s teachers and tutors; they are a great source of information and usually have tons of experience for you to draw on. Some children may display symptoms at home, but behave very differently at school. If this is the case, you know the behavior is triggered by circumstances rather than ADHD.
What’s the Next Step?
Speak with your pediatrician first. There is no medical test for ADHD, but they can give you pointers on what to monitor and observe. If your doctor thinks that your child’s behavior is negatively affecting their development, they will refer you to a specialist.
A specialist will test your child and observe their behavior before making a diagnoses. Your child must display six or more of the symptoms of hyperactive behavior to be diagnosed as ADHD.
You can discuss further actions with your specialist which can include everything from diet and exercise alterations to medication. There are many different ways to deal with the symptoms of ADHD and you should explore all your options before selecting a coping strategy that best suits you and your family.
ADHD can interfere with a student’s ability to learn. With the help of Tutor Doctor of North Jersey, your child’s academic skills will improve making them more adaptable to their learning environment. Personal tutors will work one on one with your student, giving maximum attention to their needs.
Image credit: http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/blog/2014/01/sensory-processing-disorder-or-adhd/