Does my child have Attention Deficit Disorder?

Does my child have ADHD? How can I tell if my child needs help?

Attention Deficit Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a relatively common childhood disorder. The primary symptoms of this disorder are:

  • Inattention – making careless mistakes, being easily distracted, forgetful and disorganized
  • Hyperactivity – fidgeting, running or climbing excessively, having difficulty taking turns, interrupting or intruding on others.

The difficulty with this disorder is that all children have general symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The question for parents is often, “How do I know that this is not a normal phase for my child?” Generally if you are asking this question and the behaviors have existed for a while it is best to have an evaluation completed.

To diagnose ADHD a trained professional such as your child’s pediatrician, a behavioral health specialists (social workers, professional counselors or psychologists), a child psychiatrist or any medical doctor, needs to evaluate your child. This is critical because children can exhibit the same symptoms with other causes that are not ADHD. Children who are anxious or depressed can respond in the same ways. Since treatment for ADHD is very specific and can involve medication, an accurate diagnosis is critical. This professional will ask for information from you regarding your child’s behavior, your family history to see if there is ADHD in other family members, how does your child behave at school and has the teacher contacted you regarding problem behaviors. ADHD does not exist in only one area of a child’s life so information from all areas is critical.