Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a relatively common childhood disorder that can have far-reaching effects on a child’s school performance, social life, and self-confidence. Symptoms of ADHD may persist throughout the adult years as well, affecting about three times as many males as females.
Although there’s no cure for ADHD, the condition and its symptoms can be safely and effectively managed, helping kids succeed at home, at school, and in all areas of their lives. The key is learning to recognize signs of ADHD early in order to get a treatment plan underway.
At Nevada Pediatric Specialists in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, our team offers compassionate, patient-centered treatment for ADHD in boys and girls. If you think your child may have ADHD, here’s what you should know about this common condition and its early signs.
ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in kids, and while it might not be diagnosed until a child is in school, signs can begin appearing during preschool years. Researchers aren’t sure what causes ADHD, but they theorize that it may involve:
- Brain chemicals
- Differences in brain activity
- Pregnancy problems, including maternal drug use, drinking, and smoking
- Exposure to toxins
ADHD is not caused by vaccines, food allergies, or eating too much sugar.
To diagnose ADHD, our team evaluates your child’s health and symptoms, paying close attention to reports from parents and, sometimes, teachers. While there’s no one test to confirm the presence of ADHD, guidelines from the American Psychiatric Association play an important role in making a correct diagnosis.
ADHD is divided into three types:
- Hyperactive-impulsive type
- Inattentive type
- Combination type
While similar treatments may be prescribed for all types, the signs can be quite different.
Hyperactive-impulsive type signs
The following signs are associated with the hyperactivity component of ADHD.
Good conversation skills are important for people of all ages, and there’s nothing wrong with your child wanting to play an active role in family discussions. But incessant talking could be an indicator of ADHD, especially if your child frequently interrupts others or seems to have an urgent need to talk, even speaking over others or blurting out answers in school.
Problems taking turns
Similar to interrupting conversations, a child with ADHD may also have problems taking turns in school tasks or in activities at home such as games. Not surprisingly, because a lot of social interactions depend on turn-taking, this sign of ADHD can cause problems with friends and schoolmates.
Difficulty sitting still
Kids with ADHD frequently have problems staying in their seats at school, or they may fidget or squirm when tasked with being still.
Inattentive type signs
The inattentiveness part of ADHD is associated with different signs.
Problems following instructions
Following instructions is a critical skill that’s essential for succeeding in school and learning many tasks of daily living. Children with the inattentive form of ADHD have a lot of trouble following instructions, leading to poor school performance and other problems.
Poor listening skills
Being inattentive and distracted makes it difficult to listen to parents, teachers, and even friends. Poor listening behaviors are often misinterpreted as defiance or disrespect. This sign can contribute to poor performance in school, and it may even increase the risk of accidents.
Difficulty focusing on one thing at a time
While some kids with ADHD may seem to daydream all the time, others may appear to flit from one idea or task to another. Many kids with the inattentive form of ADHD have poor time management skills and suffer from an inability to organize themselves or their time.
Give your child the tools to succeed
Managing ADHD symptoms can be challenging, especially for your child. The team at Nevada Pediatric Specialists works closely with you, your child, and your child’s teachers to make sure treatment stays on track as your child grows and develops.
To learn more about ADHD management, book an appointment online or over the phone with Nevada Pediatric Specialists today.