ADHD in Children: How Symptoms Affect Them in School

According to the American Psychiatric Association, as defined in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-TR, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have held numerous labels over the years. There are three different types of ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Inattentive Type (ADD)

This type of distractible and inattentive disorder is commonly referred as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Primarily Impulsive and Hyperactive (ADHD)

Children diagnosed with this disorder often react before that think making their actions impulsive. These children also show signs of uncontrollable urges to move.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined (ADHD)

Children in this group are distractible, inattentive and impulsive.

Common Signs and Symptoms Of ADD

ADD usually does not become problematic until a child is in third or fourth grade. The following signs and symptoms are normally present for a period of time that is no less than six months in multiple settings (home, school, activities etc.).

o Short attention span

o Forgetful

o Easily distracted

o Of has difficulty with organizational skills

o Does not appear to be listening

o Fails to follow through with school assignments, chores and activities

o Often appears to be lazy, disinterested and fails to put forth mental effort

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

The hyperactive and impulsive child may begin to show the signs and symptoms presented below before they enter first grade. Parents who have children who can’t sit still in pre-school and continually here from the teacher that their child “is much more active than the other children,” usually see some of the other signs presented below while their child is at home, in stores, restaurants and other public places outside of school.

o Interrupts while others are speaking or blurts out

o Constantly getting out of seat or squirms in chair

o Has a hard time playing or completing a task quietly

o Runs, jumps and displays a lot of energy at inappropriate times

o Gets in conflict with peers

o Constantly touches people or objects without permission

o Talks excessively

o Seems to require constant supervision and direction

o Has a hard time taking turns

The ADHD child usually displays at least six of these signs and symptoms for a period no less than six months. Parents who have an ADHD child often report that their child is hard to manage and the parent is usually exhausted by the end of the day. Crying, arguing and yelling are often common character traits. Manipulation and demanding for more may also be common. Beside the parent becoming exhausted, the child is usually exhausted as well.

ADD/ADHD Is A Medical Diagnosis and Parents Decide

Diagnosing ADD/ADHD is a medical decision. Parents have a right to get a second or third opinion. Parents who get the best medical advice often report that they have had their child assessed by a trained medical doctor and nurses who specializes in this field. The medical facilities that employs educational and learning specialist who work directly with the doctors, children, schools and their families are the facilities that often make correct diagnosis when it come to this disorder. Insurance companies often cover a percentage of the cost. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company before you make a decision.

Other Common Questions Parents Have Before We Move On

What Causes ADD/ADHD?

Medical experts believe that brain structure and function play a role in causing ADD and adhd child. The brain’s frontal lobe (located near our forehead) has often been the point of concentration by medical research teams. Through the use of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) these teams have found that the frontal lobes are 3 to 4 percent smaller in children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Medical science also believes that one of the brain’s main sources of energy, glucose, is used less in the areas that control attention in adults who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than adult who have not been diagnosed with this condition.

Is There A Cure For ADD/ADHD?

Not yet. There is no known cure for ADD/ADHD. However, for many children and adult behavioral therapy, medications, schooling and parenting strategies that involve teaching children coping techniques have all proven to be successful interventions. Research seems to indicate that only one in three children who are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are able to overcome the disorder by adulthood. Because there is no know cure at the present time, the primary focus has been placed on minimizing the symptoms. Once parents and educators working with children begin to accept the long-term nature of this disorder, the easier it is to manage it.

What Treatments or Interventions Work?

There are a variety of interventions that seem to lessen the severity of ADD/ADHD. Behavior modification that takes place in both the home and school has been used to help manage this disorder. Medical facilities that specialize in working with children who are ADD/ADHD can recommend a behavioral therapist who can assist the child in replacing undesirable thinking that leads to inappropriate behaviors. There are many different forms of behavioral therapy that include Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Dialectic Therapy and Rational Emotive Therapy. Behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is applied by a trained, licensed therapist. Parents can also be taught behavioral modification techniques that can be used at home. Some of these techniques will be provided later.

Social skills’ training is another intervention that has helped children with ADD/ADHD. Children are taught how to interact with their peers and family members by practicing acceptable social behaviors. Some of medical facilities that assess ADHD also provide social skills support groups. Another option for this intervention is offered through the special education programs in numerous public schools. Check with your child’s classroom teacher, school principal or special education director for availability.