ADHD can be a difficult topic for parents… They want their children to succeed, but they don’t want the negative stigma surrounding mental illness to burden them. It is important for parents to understand what ADHD looks like and how they can support their child!
ADHD in Children
ADHD in children is often characterized by daydreaming, forgetfulness, squirming, impulsivity, and making careless mistakes.
There are three subtypes of ADHD:
- Primarily Inattentive Presentation
- Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
- Combined Presentation
Symptoms of ADHD typically present before the age of 12, and they can present as early as age 3. Males are more likely to present with externally-focused hyperactive-impulsive ADHD, while females are more likely to be internally-focused inattentive.
What Does ADHD Look Like In Children?
If you suspect your child might have ADHD, here are some things you can look for:
- Avoiding Activities That Require Attention For More Than A Few Minutes
- Talking More Or Making More Noise Than Other Children Their Age
- Quickly Losing Interest And Moving Onto Another Activity
- Inability To Stay Seated For Extended Periods Of Time
- Engaging In Risky Behavior Due To Impulsivity or Fearlessness
Treating & Diagnosing ADHD In Children
While there is no single method for diagnosing ADHD, most practitioners will complete a behavior assessment or checklist and a clinical interview to identify specific symptoms. The clinical interview helps in recognizing the impact symptoms are having on social, educational, and home settings.
Treating ADHD typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. For younger children, parent training and behavior therapy are particularly effective. However, it is important to know that treatments can vary by child and family. Once a treatment plan is established, parents can advocate for their child at school to ensure ideal interventions are implemented in their classroom. The Individuals with Disability Education Act guarantees that children with ADHD are granted services and accommodations in the school setting. Your practitioner can help you better understand this law and how to make sure your child is getting the services they need.
Garrett Counseling in Jacksonville, AL has a team of counselors experienced in helping children who are dealing with the symptoms of ADHD. If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (256) 239-5662 or online!
This article was written by Lynsey Leopard, a mental health professional at Garrett Counseling in Jacksonville, AL. Learn more about Lynsey here. ADHD in Adolescents: Development, Assessment, and Treatment was used as a reference for this article.