ADHD stands for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a common condition (ADHD affects about 6% of children), but it is poorly understood. People with ADHD may have difficulty finishing tasks and keeping their attention focused for long periods.
ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children. The causes of ADHD are not well understood, however, it is thought to be a largely genetic disorder. ADHD can often cause people to make bad decisions and behave out of character according to their natural personalities or upbringing. People with this condition are often very energetic, and some may find them easily distracted by sounds or movements around them. They typically have problems remaining still at times when they should be focused on an activity that requires stillness, such as studying for a test or playing a sport.
ADHD symptoms in children
Let’s review some of the common symptoms of ADHD in kids. However, be sure to remember that each person may experience symptoms differently. Without further ado–let’s dive in.
1. A short attention span
The children afflicted with this condition have a very short attention span and they do not concentrate well. They find it difficult to sit still and maintain silence and are often the class clowns in school.
Instead of being quiet, sitting still and taking part in a class activity, children with ADHD often fidget continuously. They also often run around when they should be sitting still because of their short attention span. If someone tells them to stop playing or doing something that they like, they will most likely become upset and throw a tantrum because it is almost impossible to keep them from what they want when they want it. In most cases, the child wants to do things they are doing badly.
3. Reckless behavior
In school or at home, children with ADHD often make bad decisions due to their short attention span and lack of focus. They may jump in front of a moving vehicle or run in the middle of a busy street. In some cases, they break the rules by deliberately skipping school or getting into fights with friends or siblings.
4. A tendency to temper tantrums
ADHD children often lash out to express their frustrations and unhappiness with the way they are being treated. They try very hard to get their way with what they want to do, but when they cannot obtain the outcome that they want, which is usually external rewards like praise, time off from school or a new toy, the child has trouble accepting their loss and will often have a temper tantrum. Adults can help children with ADHD by letting them know that losing is part of life and it does not mean that their parents or teachers did them wrong.
5. Problems concentrating on tasks
Children diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulties concentrating during class work in school or during family activities at home. They may be easily distracted by their surroundings, noises made by other people around them or any movements other than those related to the task at hand. They find it difficult to finish schoolwork and household chores without supervision from an adult.
6. Frequent mood swings
Children with ADHD are often found to be hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive according to medical definitions. These symptoms have been observed in children as young as 5 years of age. When they are young, the behaviors associated with this condition are most often linked to a short attention span and hyperactivity with little evidence of impulsiveness in the child. As time passes, children with ADHD may display more temper outbursts and mood swings.
7. Lack of self-restraint in public places
ADHD children may find it hard to control their behavior in public places like restaurants and shops. They may behave out of character by shouting at the top of their voices or talking to strangers when they should be quiet or listening.
8. Inability to organize work and tasks
Children with ADHD find it difficult to manage their work and tasks at home or school. They often show a lack of self-discipline when completing a task that requires organization such as writing a report or doing their homework. These children may also get easily distracted by activities in the environment around them. Here’s an article on how to improve your memory with ADHD.
9. Destructive and aggressive behavior
Children diagnosed with ADHD may have problems with attention, self-control, mood swings, short attention span, talking excessively and impulsiveness which can lead them to become bored easily in groups of people. They are more prone to becoming disruptive at school because they find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time.
10. Frequent accidents, injuries or illnesses
Children with ADHD are often found to be involved in accidents such as falling, bumping into things and other minor injuries due to their lack of self-control. They are also more prone to getting the common childhood diseases such as the flu or a fever because their immune system is weakened due to these frequent accidents.
11. Poor performance at school or home
ADHD children have problems in concentrating on tasks that they are given by parents, teachers or other adults around them. They may skip classes, behave out of character and make bad decisions like fighting with friends or siblings at home.
12. Difficulty controlling emotions
The symptoms of ADHD can present themselves differently from one child to another, which is why it is very hard to pinpoint the exact cause of a particular behavior problem. Researchers believe that the constant changes and movement of symptoms in some children with ADHD are due to the fact that more than one area of their brain is being affected by this disorder. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD may have a hard time controlling their emotions which can lead to outbursts in public places and other social situations.
13. Poor handwriting
Children with ADHD may also have poor handwriting and may skip class in school frequently. They are more argumentative and impulsive in nature. The child is easily distracted and does not show interest in sitting still for long periods of time. This may result in poor performance at school which often results to frustration for parents, teachers and the child.
ADHD affects a person’s behavior, learning, and relationships. It is therefore important to get it diagnosed at an early age. Parents can be more effective in helping their children if they understand the condition. They can approach their child’s pediatrician if they suspect that their child may be suffering from ADHD. This will enable them to secure the child early treatment for ADHD before it becomes a problem later in life.