Do you think that your teenager could be suffering from ADD/ADHD? If so, it’s important to recognize what behavior and personality traits are considered normal and what can be classified as ADHD symptoms. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects 3-5% of school-aged children; this is more often discovered in boys than in girls.
In order for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, they must be out of a normal range for child’s age and development. It’s common to have a child who acts without thinking, daydreams in class and displays fidgety behavior during situations that they are uninterested in. These are behaviors that will be corrected over time as the child matures. Often common ADHD symptoms are confused with depression, lack of sleep, learning disabilities, and behavior problems.
However, if the behavior issues in your teen intensify, it’s overwhelming for a parent and they tend to lose control over their child in both private and public settings. ADHD develops in an individual early on in their childhood and carries on into adulthood. Researchers have discovered that there is reduced blood flow and activity levels in the brain when an individual with ADHD is working on thinking tasks.
The three primary characteristics of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and inattentive behavior.
Hyperactivity can be classified as a physical state in which an individual is abnormally active. Being hyperactive can include being aggressive, easily distracted, and having the inability to concentrate.
Some other common signs of hyperactivity are:
• Fidgeting with hands and feet
• Excessive talking
• Over-activity such as running and climbing
• Inability to stay seated during class
Behavior traits such as acting out or performing an activity without forethought can be classified as impulsive behavior. Impulsive individuals have the tendency to be verbally or physically disruptive during class and other public situations.
Other tendencies include:
• Difficulty waiting their turn
• Blurting out answers in class
• Talking over others
• Intrusive on other’s conversations and activities
• Becoming violent in situations where they do not get their way
When an individual is being careless, negligent, and spacey it’s known as inattentive behavior. This overall inability to focus can cause problematic situations both at home and in school. This is commonly classified as ADD, which excludes the hyperactivity.
Examples of inattentive behavior are:
• Appears unresponsive when spoke to
• Avoids activities that require sustained mental effort
• Easily distracted
• Forgetful of common tasks
• Inability to follow directions or instructions
Understanding these characteristics is the first step to providing your child or teenager with the help that is available to them. Aside from medication and therapy, there are lifestyle changes that can be made in order to help your child succeed. As a parent, you can assist your child by showing them how to utilize their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm towards activities that are interesting to them (sports, art, music, etc.).
Whether the symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe; seeking help ensures that your child will learn how to control their disorder. Luckily, there is an immense amount of treatment options available for those suffering from ADHD or ADD. Researchers continue to study ADHD in children, teenagers, and adults, in hopes of understanding more about this growing disorder.