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Does My Child Have ADHD?

Children playing with toys

​​While only a trained physician can correctly diagnose someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), knowing the basics about ADHD will help you decide if your child needs a professional evaluation. 

There is a lot of misinformation out there about ADHD; we'll do our best to clear the air and give you some general information that you can use to guide your parenting decisions.

A Medical Condition
ADHD is a medical condition that makes it difficult for a person to concentrate. No two ADHD sufferers are exactly alike; the multitude of symptoms makes the combinations that can affect each individual unique. However, it is a chronic condition that afflicts millions of children, and in some cases, persists well into adulthood. 

Children who have ADHD can struggle with low self-esteem, poor relationships and difficulties at school, particularly with their grades. 

Common ADHD Behaviors
In general, ADHD sufferers tend to have a tough time focusing their attention on the tasks required of them. This inability to focus causes people with ADHD to act impulsively, fidget and feel like they are always moving faster than everyone else. 

If you think your child has ADHD, you might have noticed some of these behaviors:

  • Has trouble finishing chores or homework
  • Has difficulty sitting still during dinner and/or at school 
  • Loses items such as a shoe, pencil or homework
  • Has an extremely disorganized and messy room
  • Talks a lot
  • Interrupts a lot
  • Has an inability to listen when spoken to directly

As a parent of a child who exhibits these behaviors, life can be frustrating much of the time. Remember that life often feels frustrating for the child who has ADHD as well. Kids who have ADHD often feel stupid, which causes them to shut down. They stop trying to listen, complete tasks and be organized. And it's easy for a child who feels defeated to get into a downward spiral of increasingly negative behavior. 

The good news is that an accurate diagnosis, personalized treatment and purposeful parenting can help children and their families cope with ADHD. In time, treatment can make a noticeable difference.  It helps children who have ADHD enjoy full, normal and productive lives. 

For more information, please see the book Great Days Ahead, Parenting Children Who Have ADHD with Hope and Confidence.