It’s natural for children to forget their homework, daydream during class, or get fidgety every now and again. However, the persistence of these traits could be an indicator of attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) in a child.
This condition not only affects children’s ability to learn, but can also inhibit their social abilities. As of just 2011, approximately 11% of children aged four to 17 (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The first and most important step in managing this condition is to identify the signs and symptoms both on your own, and with the help of family practice physicians. Here are some of the most important indicators to keep an eye out for, especially in boys, as they are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as girls:
Inattention: This factor can be difficult to distinguish between simple laziness, but overt procrastination of tasks like homework or chores are a good indicator of inattention. They may also have a hard time focusing on details and could have a tendency to make careless mistakes.
Even in simple conversation, children with ADHD often have trouble staying on topic and listening to others. Common noises and events that are typically ignored in social situations can easily distract them as well.
Hyperactivity: Hyperactivity typically manifests as a spat of physical symptoms, such as frequent fidgeting and squirming. Very young children are often in constant motion, particularly when it’s not appropriate. Hyperactivity can also cause excessive talkativeness, which can make participating in group activities difficult when mixed with the inability to sit still.
Impulsivity: One of the key indicators of serious impulsivity is impatience. Many children with ADHD are unable to wait for their turn to speak in conversations, leading them to interrupt others.
Impulsivity can manifest in physical ways as well. For example, they may run, jump, or climb over things without considering the consequences. This will not only cause bodily harm to themselves, but to those around them as well.
Considering that the majority of people show many of these symptoms to some extent, diagnosing ADHD is no easy task. Therefore, family practice physicians should always be consulted before taking action to treat children.
While it’s important to identify this condition at an early age, there are also many adults with ADD who are completely unaware of it, which can lead to depression. Unfortunately, 80% of depressed individuals forego seeking out treatment. Even in the later stages in life, adult ADD treatment from family practice physicians is a key part of being able function effectively.