Signs of ADHD and ADD-Understanding ADD/ADHD Symptoms
The signs of ADHD and ADD can be extremely disconcerting to a parent. ADHD can produce havoc and tension in both the home and classroom. How can you know when to be concerned and seek help?
What are the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? At what point should a concerned parent have their child take an ADD or ADHD test? Is the behavior you are seeing in your child a sign of ADD or ADHD?
Although there is some overlap, the signs of ADHD differ from those of ADD. The dominant symptom of ADD is inattention, while the dominant symptom of ADHD is hyperactivity. This article will describe the signs of ADHD and ADD, then suggest possible courses of action.
ADD Signs and SymptomsThe symptoms of ADD fall into two categories: Inattention and Disorganization. Inattentive symptoms include daydreaming and not listening when someone is speaking. Children with ADD are easily distracted and have trouble keeping their attention in the task before them. They rarely follow instructions completely, have little attention to detail, and make careless mistakes.
Disorganized symptoms include forgetfulness and losing things like toys, books, and school supplies. Children with ADD have difficulty planning ahead and managing their time efficiently. Finally, they rarely finish tasks, jumping from one uncompleted project to the next.
ADHD Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of ADHD consist of all the above, but also include hyperactivity. This can manifest many different ways, the most obvious being fidgeting, squirming, and trouble with tasks requiring sitting still. ADHD symptoms are difficult to ignore.
It may also manifest as impatience, always wanting to do things now. The child has difficulty standing in line, waiting their turn, or delaying gratification. They may talk constantly, interrupt others, and blurt out answers. Finally, hyperactivity can also manifest as aggression in social situations. If your child shows signs of hyperactivity, you may want to have them take an ADHD test.
Treating ADHD and ADD
Even if your child is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD or ADD, there are two more considerations that must be taken into account before giving them an ADD or ADHD test. First, these symptoms must be present before the age of seven. Second, these symptoms must be regular and persistent for over six months, in at least two different area of the child's life (at home, at school, at church, at sports practice, etc.).
If your child meets all these signs of ADHD or ADD, then they should be taken to a certified mental health professional for an ADD or ADHD test. If they are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, then there are several treatments you can take.
It is important to point out that although medication is perhaps the popular and common treatment for ADD and ADHD, it is not the only treatment available. Not only is it expensive, but psycho-stimulant medication can have side effects ranging from minor (sleeplessness) to serious (stomach pain or even heart problems).
The first course of action should be a holistic approach, monitoring the child's sleep schedule, exercise routine, and diet. Make sure your child gets enough cardiovascular exercise, make sure they have a regular sleep schedule (at least eight hours), and diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates (like sugar).
If that fails to reduce your child's symptoms, then try behavioral therapy. This includes relaxation techniques allowing a child to calm themselves down, or cognitive therapy, teaching a child to realize when they're being inattentive and refocus on the task before them.
Often ADD and ADHD behavior can be traced to food allergies.
Herbal remedies and vitamins, such as ginkgo, ginseng, and melatonin will also help decrease the symptoms of ADHD and ADD. Our family uses products from Native Remedies to help with hyperactivity and difficulty focusing. Their website has a wealth of information related to the natural treatment for ADHD.These natural treatments will help reduce the ADHD symptoms you are concerned about. Just be consistent with the approach you choose.
Only if all these options have failed do you want to explore psycho-stimulant medication. If your child is showing signs of ADHD or ADD, and an ADD or ADHD test results in a positive diagnosis, anything less than a slow, gradual increase in severity of treatment until the symptoms ease would be irresponsible.
Remember, ADHD signs and symptoms can lead you to treatment options that will improve the quality of your child's life, as well as make your home life much more settled.