- How does your child compare with his peers?
- Is her behavior similar to other children the same age? Or is it more extreme or more disruptive?
- Is the behavior leading to chronic problems in daily functioning?
- Does the behavior occur in more than one setting (e.g. at school, home, or during extra curricular activities)?
- Is the behavior innate to the child or could it be caused by other factors and conditions?
- Fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes
- Have difficulty sustaining attention?
- Not appear to listen?
- Struggle to follow through on instructions?
- Have difficulty with organization?
- Avoid or dislike tasks requiring sustained mental effort?
- Easily get distracted?
- Become forgetful during daily activities?
- Fidget with hands or feet or squirm in chair?
- Have difficulty remaining seated?
- Run around or climb excessively?
- Have difficulty engaging in activities quietly?
- Act as if driven by a motor?
- Talk excessively?
- Blurt out answers before questions have been completed?
- Have difficulty waiting or taking turns?
- Interrupt or intrude upon others?
Keep in mind that these are at times normal developmental behaviors for kids. In order to be a concern, these symptoms must create significant difficulty in at least two areas of life, such as home, social settings, or school. Again, talk to your doctor about your child’s behavior.
Step 4: Build a Network and Get Help
ADHD is big. At least it can feel that way. There is no need to muddle through it alone. One of the advantages of parenting today is access to information. Professionals know so much more than they used to about diagnosis and treatment options. Help can come in many forms. It can come from working with professionals or a tutor. It can also come through the use of any number of teaching aids that help your child. It even comes in the form of friendships and resources you get when you connect with other families dealing with ADHD. Two of my favorites are the national organization, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) and Additude magazine.
Mary Beth Cole is the lower learning specialist at Charles Wright Academy. Free monthly CHADD meetings are held locally at Charles Wright Academy, and the public is always welcome. The next one is coming up on the 23rd!
Disclosure: Sounds Fun Mom is proudly sponsored by Charles Wright Academy. The articles in this series are provided text representing the opinion of the author.
Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt at Flicker Used under a creative commons license