Is It Normal Kid Behavior Or Is It Adhd
It can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and normal kid behavior. If you spot just a few signs, or the symptoms appear only in some situations, its probably not ADHD. On the other hand, if your child shows a number of ADHD signs and symptoms that are present across all situationsat home, at school, and at playits time to take a closer look.
Life with a child with ADHD can be frustrating and overwhelming, but as a parent there is a lot you can do to help control symptoms, overcome daily challenges, and bring greater calm to your family.
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults: Hyperfocus
Hyperfocus is an intense form of concentration. When an individual with ADD is partaking in a task or activity they enjoy, they become completely absorbed. During hyperfocus, they tend to ignore all stimuli in the environment surrounding themfailing to shift their attention to other events. While hyperfocus may initially seem like a positive symptom of the disorder, other priorities are neglected. Hyperfocus distracts from other important tasks and is detrimental to work and relationships if the individual forgets their obligations. Studies show hyperfocus is most common in adults.
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults: Impulsive Behavior
Impulsive behavior is more common in ADHD than ADD, but the latter has its share of behavioral changes. Impulsivity arises from not remaining focused enough to think about ones actions or words. Adults with ADD speak before thinking and make decisions before weighing the consequences. For example, hastily making a large purchase. Their spontaneous behavior can lead to repercussions on their work, relationships, and personal life.
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What Are The Signs Of Adhd
All kids struggle at times to pay attention, listen and follow directions, sit still, or wait their turn. But for kids with ADHD, the struggles are harder and happen more often.
Kids with ADHD can show signs in any or all these areas:
- Inattentive. Kids who are inattentive have trouble focusing their attention, concentrating, and staying on task. They may not listen well to directions, may miss important details, and may not finish what they start. They may daydream or dawdle too much. They may seem absent-minded or forgetful, and lose track of their things.
- Hyperactive. Kids who are hyperactive are fidgety, restless, and easily bored. They may have trouble sitting still, or staying quiet when needed. They may rush through things and make careless mistakes. They may climb, jump, or roughhouse when they shouldn’t. Without meaning to, they may act in ways that disrupt others.
- Impulsive. Kids who are impulsive act too quickly before thinking. They often interrupt, might push or grab, and find it hard to wait. They may do things without asking for permission, take things that aren’t theirs, or act in ways that are risky. They may have emotional reactions that seem too intense for the situation.
Sometimes parents and teachers notice signs of ADHD when a child is very young. But it’s normal for little kids to be distracted, restless, impatient, or impulsive these things don’t always mean that a child has ADHD.
Helping A Child With Adhd
Whether or not your childs symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are due to ADHD, they can cause many problems if left untreated. Children who cant focus and control themselves may struggle in school, get into frequent trouble, and find it hard to get along with others or make friends. These frustrations and difficulties can lead to low self-esteem as well as friction and stress for the whole family.
But treatment can make a dramatic difference in your childs symptoms. With the right support, your child can get on track for success in all areas of life.
If your child struggles with symptoms that look like ADHD, dont wait to seek professional help. You can treat your childs symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity without having a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. Options to start with include getting your child into therapy, implementing a better diet and exercise plan, and modifying the home environment to minimize distractions.
If you do receive a diagnosis of ADHD, you can then work with your childs doctor, therapist, and school to make a personalized treatment plan that meets their specific needs. Effective treatment for childhood ADHD involves behavioral therapy, parent education and training, social support, and assistance at school. Medication may also be used however, it should never be the sole attention deficit disorder treatment.
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What Should I Know About My Child Participating In Clinical Research
Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive better help in the future.
Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Clinical trials for children are designed with the understanding that children and adults respond differently, both physically and mentally, to medications and treatments. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for your child. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.
Inattentive Type Adhd In Girls
While ADHD occurs in boys and girls at similar rates, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition. Boys may be more likely to exhibit externalizing symptoms of the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD, increasing the diagnosis rate since such symptoms tend to be more disruptive. Girls tend to exhibit more internalizing symptoms of ADHD, which may make it more difficult to spot, contributing to underdiagnosis.
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Information To Help With Add Child Symptoms And Attention Deficit Disorder In Children
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What is Attention Deficit Disorder ?
Attention Deficit Disorder, also commonly referred to as ADD, is a group of symptoms that affect concentration and a person’s ability to focus. It can also cause mood swings and other social problems.
How Does ADD Manifest in Children?
Children with attention deficit disorder lack the ability to focus and concentrate. Attention deficit disorder in children affects daily functioning, as they may have difficulty in completing their school work and are often in trouble with parents and teachers. This is similar to adults with ADDwho often experience problems at work or in relationships.
Usually, ADD child symptoms will appear over the course of many months rather than all at once. If the appearance of these symptoms is not managed correctly, it can lead to low self-esteem and other behavioral problems in the years to come.
Kids who have ADD of the inattentive type are not hyperactive. However, they may have a hard time keeping their minds on any one thing and may get bored after only a few minutes on a task.
If they are doing something they really enjoy, they may have no trouble paying attention. However, focusing deliberate, conscious attention to organizing and completing a task or learning something new is very difficult.
The Difference Between ADD and ADHD
Attention Deficit Disorder is the umbrella disorder, encompassing three sub-groups. These three groups are defined as follows:
What Are The Differences Between Add And Adhd
Attention deficit disorder is an outdated term for what experts now call attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
The term ADD first appeared in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , a reference manual that helps mental health professionals diagnose mental health conditions.
Experts separated the condition into two subtypes:
- ADD with hyperactivity
- ADD without hyperactivity
When the American Psychiatric Association released a revised edition in 1987, they combined these two subtypes into one condition: ADHD.
Today, ADHD is one of the more common childhood mental health conditions. The says that about 9.4 percent of children and adolescents in the United States have ADHD.
Adults can have ADHD, too. According to a 2021 review , nearly 2.6 percent of adults globally have persistent ADHD from childhood, while about 6.7 percent of adults have symptoms of adult ADHD.
Since these estimates come from reported symptoms and diagnoses, some believe the real prevalence of ADHD could be higher.
Experts have identified three types of ADHD, based on the main symptoms involved:
- a combination of inattention and hyperactivity
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Related Conditions In Adults With Adhd
As with ADHD in children and teenagers, ADHD in adults can occur alongside several related problems or conditions.
One of the most common is depression. Other conditions that adults may have alongside ADHD include:
- personality disorders conditions in which an individual differs significantly from the average person in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others
- bipolar disorder a condition affecting your mood, which can swing from one extreme to another
- obsessive compulsive disorder a condition that causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour
The behavioural problems associated with ADHD can also cause problems such as difficulties with relationships and social interaction.
Page last reviewed: 24 December 2021 Next review due: 24 December 2024
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults: Procrastination
Procrastination is defined as delaying or postponing a task that needs to be completed. Its unlikely that someone with ADD is purposely avoiding a task, but their symptoms have them caught in a cycle of procrastination. For example, they intend to finish a job assignment, yet their mind wanders. They lose focus and divert attention to stimuli they find is more interesting. Thus, they neglect the task they initially started.
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Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults. We all occasionally find it difficult to pay attention, yet some face this struggle more than others. When the inability to focus becomes a chronic problem, it may indicate attention deficit disorder . Attention Deficit Disorder is thought of as a childhood condition. However, most forget that children diagnosed with ADD eventually grow into adults and that many are not diagnosed by a medical professional until adulthood. How is ADD different in adults? What are the symptoms? Keep reading to learn if you or someone you know have the symptoms of ADD common in adulthood.
How Should I Prepare For My Childs Appointment To Discuss Adhd
If you think your child has a problem with attention, hyperactivity or impulsivity, and it seems that his or her behavior at home and performance at school are being affected, your next step is to see your pediatrician.
If the symptoms are affecting your childs schoolwork, contact the school and request an evaluation. When making this request, be as specific as possible about the type of educational or behavioral difficulties your child is having.
Schools are required to evaluate children if theres evidence of a disability that affects their learning. This evaluation is free and must, by law, include appropriate standardized tests. School testing can lead to accommodations in the classroom. The school will not diagnose ADHD, but will take note of the symptoms and will often assign a designation of Other Health Impaired . Get a copy of the schools report and bring it with you to the appointment with the pediatrician.
If necessary, the family provider may suggest you take your child to a professional who specializes in ADHD and other developmental, behavioral or mental health concerns.
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Impulsive Signs And Symptoms Of Adhd
The impulsivity of children with ADHD can cause problems with self-control. Because they censor themselves less than other kids do, theyll interrupt conversations, invade other peoples space, ask irrelevant questions in class, make tactless observations, and ask overly personal questions. Instructions like, Be patient and Just wait a little while are twice as hard for children with ADHD to follow as they are for other youngsters.
Children with impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD also tend to be moody and to overreact emotionally. As a result, others may start to view the child as disrespectful, weird, or needy.
Signs Of Adhd In Children
ADHD primarily causes symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, or a combination of both.
With ADHD, someone may experience difficulties paying attention and staying organized, excess fidgeting or restlessness, and trouble with self-control or impulsive behaviors.
In children or toddlers with ADHD, this can lead to at home, in day care, or at school, such as:
- trouble focusing on activities and becoming easily distracted
- low attention span while playing or doing schoolwork
- fidgeting, squirming, or otherwise having trouble sitting still
- constantly needing movement or frequently running around
- engaging in activities loudly or disruptively
- excess talking and interrupting other people
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Learning Support And Adaptions To Classroom Environment
Children and young people with ADHD may struggle at school due to their symptoms and may feel left behind by their classmates. In these cases learning support can be arranged.
Arranging learning support with the school through an Individual Education Plan can make a huge difference. It is best to discuss this with the class teacher or Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator at the school. Some adaptations to the physical environment, particularly in the classroom can be helpful. A few examples include:
- Seating a child with ADHD in a place that has limited distractions, and in a quiet environment
- Frequent movement breaks
- Providing stimulating activities to capture interest
- Keeping instructions concise and clear
- Breaking down tasks into a series of small steps
- Providing frequent positive feedback
There is some evidence that exercise can help reduce symptoms and impairments commonly seen in ADHD. Other research is looking into the effects of mindfulness training for attention difficulties seen in ADHD. There is no cure for ADHD but the above interventions can help a young person to manage their symptoms.
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults: Inattention
Inattention is the predominant symptom of adult ADD. With inattention comes distraction and difficulty concentrating. Adults with ADD are daydreamersthey struggle to remain focused on the matters at hand. Whether that be a task, a work assignment, or even a conversation, their minds are constantly racing and moving on to the next thought without fully processing the ones before it. This leaves tasks uncompleted with gaps in information.
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Symptoms In Children And Teenagers
The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined, and they’re usually noticeable before the age of 6. They occur in more than 1 situation, such as at home and at school.
Children may have symptoms of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity and impulsiveness, or they may have symptoms of just 1 of these types of behaviour.
Signs And Symptoms Of Attention Deficit Disorder
Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. Some people have problems with only one of the behaviors, while others have inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Most children have the combined type.
In preschool, the most common symptom is hyperactivity. It is normal to have some inattention, unfocused motor activity, and impulsivity, but for people with this type of disorder, the behaviors:
- They are more severe.
- They interfere with the quality of how they function socially, at school, or a job.
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What Is Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention deficit disorder is a brain-based disorder characterized by inattention and impulsivity. It is similar to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but without the hyperactivity. The terms are used interchangeably.
In 1994, experts categorized ADD to include a form of ADHD known as the inattentive type. Those with ADD present with inattention, as they are easily distracted and have difficulty focusing and staying on task. They do not have high energy levels and exhibit a lesser amount of impulsive behaviors.
How Is Adhd Diagnosed
Healthcare providers use the guidelines in the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition 1, to help diagnose ADHD. This diagnostic standard helps ensure that people are appropriately diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Using the same standard across communities can also help determine how many children have ADHD, and how public health is impacted by this condition.
Here are the criteria in shortened form. Please note that they are presented just for your information. Only trained healthcare providers can diagnose or treat ADHD.
Get information and support from the National Resource Center on ADHD
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Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms In Adults: Easily Stressed
Managing inattention, racing thoughts, and disorganization amongst other ADD symptoms in adults are overwhelming. Those with ADD may feel hopeless as if they have little control over their lives because they cannot optimally balance due dates, responsibilities, and relationships. Consequently, ADD is associated with greater levels of stress. Stress only compounds symptoms of the condition. When someone with ADD has an increase in stress levels, their symptoms of inattention are exacerbated. Failing to address long term stress leaves them susceptible to mental disorders like depression or anxiety.
How Adhd Is Diagnosed
A diagnosis of ADHD requires more than the key symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
Not only do children need to have 6 or more symptoms for at least 6 months, they also need to:
- have some symptoms before the age of 12
- show symptoms in at least two different settings, including at school, home, work, with friends, or during other activities
- have symptoms severe enough to interfere with function at school, work, or in social situations and affect quality of life
Before making a diagnosis of ADHD, a mental health professional will also rule out other mental health conditions, including:
Research from 2020 notes, for example, that inattentive symptoms often go unrecognized, especially in girls, since these symptoms generally dont disrupt others. A child with inattentive ADHD might seem dreamy or distant. They might also seem intently focused on what looks like class notes when theyre actually doodling or zoning out.
If you dont get a diagnosis in childhood, you might not seek support unless you begin to have problems at work or school, or in your relationships with friends and romantic partners.
Many people with ADHD find their symptoms improve with age. That said, if you never get the right diagnosis or treatment, you might continue to find those symptoms difficult to cope with. As a result, you might feel as if theyre getting worse over time.
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