Did you know more than 6 million children ages 2-17 have an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis? Researchers suspect many more kids go undiagnosed, especially girls, who can present with different symptoms than boys.
It’s difficult to tell what’s normal “kid behavior” and when your child exhibits signs of ADHD. Board-certified physician Ranjit Grewal, MD, and the team at Houston Family MD, also know parenting a child with ADHD can mean extra challenges.
The good news is that many treatment options exist to help your ADHD child. The first step is recognizing the signs so you and your child can get the help you need. Keep reading to learn more about ADHD and the signs your child may have this common condition.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurobehavioral medical condition that’s most often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. ADHD results from differences in how your brain develops.
As a result, the condition affects brain activity associated with attention and self-control, which can cause problems in different areas of life, including socialization and friendships, school performance, work performance, self-esteem, mood, and home life.
Early and ongoing treatment increases your child’s long-term success and happiness, and the earlier treatment begins, the more likely your child will better manage their ADHD as they mature and grow into an adult.
On the other hand, untreated ADHD can cause more problems as your child grows, increasing the risk of risky behaviors and antisocial tendencies, such as underage drinking, drug use, problems with authority, and more. Untreated ADHD also negatively impacts self-esteem and self-confidence, especially in children and adolescents.
Recognizing the signs of ADHD
ADHD can trigger different symptoms and signs, depending on many factors, including gender and age. There are some common behaviors you can look for that may signal your child has ADHD. The five most common symptoms of ADHD include:
1. Frequent interrupting or trouble waiting
Impulse control can be an issue for kids with ADHD. This may lead to frequent interrupting at school or in social situations. They may also have trouble waiting for their turn in line or at school and may interrupt other children’s games or activities.
Some kids with ADHD may fidget and appear restless, especially when waiting. They may also run around a space without thinking about how their behavior affects others or possible consequences.
2. Difficulty with organization
ADHD affects the brain’s executive functioning, which contributes to your ability to stay organized. If your child forgets projects, losing things easily, doesn’t write down homework, or can’t keep their space organized, it could be a sign of ADHD.
3. Mood swings or emotional outbursts
ADHD makes controlling emotions even more difficult for children. If your child experiences temper tantrums, mood swings, or emotional outbursts of anger when they don’t get their way or experience frustration, it could be a sign of ADHD.
4. Issues in school
Issues with attention make it more likely for your child to have issues at school. Kids with ADHD often make careless mistakes, have trouble reading directions, or may stop part way through a sequence of tasks.
5. Trouble completing chores or homework
It’s natural for kids to drag their feet when completing homework or chores, but children with ADHD have this problem more often. They may get easily sidetracked and start another activity before finishing the first.
The good news is that many treatment options for ADHD exist, which can make it easier to manage the symptoms of ADHD and improve your child’s quality of life. If you’re concerned about ADHD, talk to Dr. Grewal and the team at Houston Family MD.
Children with ADHD typically benefit from a combined approach to treatment that may include different modalities, such as:
- Psychotherapy (family, individual, or group)
- ADHD medication
- Anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication
Ready to learn more about the signs of ADHD in your child? Dr. Grewal and the team at Houston Family MD are here to help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone for more information.