It's easy for a parent to get carried away and conclude that their disobedient child has a problem with ADHD. After all, human inclination says that whenever something doesn't go our way, something must be wrong. However, caution should be used when arranging for professional medication treatment to minors. Medicine is not like Castrol motor oil. Stimulant drugs are not cure-alls, nor are they drugs that should be used to control the symptoms of ADHD. While these drugs can help to influence a child's emotions for the better, what is most important is that the child is being taught how to cope with having ADHD. Obviously, medication is not going to take ADHD away. Besides, some medications may have some alarming side effects, so any concerned parent would want to thoroughly research signs of ADHD to make sure that their child is truly suffering from this disorder, and not merely enjoying his youth.
What are the signs of ADHD? First know that most symptoms of true ADHD will usually appear before the age of seven years old. Hyperactivity may or may not be indicative of ADHD. Obviously, inattention and impulsiveness are two likely symptoms parents will see. In addition, legitimate ADHD may also bring about other personality disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder or depression. Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder would certainly be distressing ADHD symptoms. Continual problems with sleeping or learning could also indicate some problems related to ADHD.
That said, ADHD is not necessarily the root cause of certain problems like learning disabilities or a medical condition. This is why it's important to take a child to a doctor when there are strong signs of disorder evident. A doctor would be able to determine if the problem is indeed ADHD or if the signs of ADHD are actually pointing to a much more serious medical or psychological condition. One also cannot dismiss the possibility that ADHD behavior is influenced by external circumstances, such as trauma, the death of a loved one, a major move, bullying, sickness or parental separation or divorce.
When To Take ADHD Seriously
The more you learn about the signs of ADHD, the more you will realize that if the child really has the condition, he is suffering from it. He may make careless mistakes and risk irritating parents or teachers only to fear retaliation. He may be easily distracted and not be able to focus in class. Yes, it is true that a child can concentrate on an activity that he enjoys. However, this is not evidence that a child is merely misbehaving if he cannot take an interest in more repetitive or intellectual subjects. He may not have the ability to do so. If he has ADHD then the child will have to learn coping mechanisms for his short attention span in addition to adopting strategies for effective retention.
Some doctors state that the most obvious signs of ADHD are physical, not necessarily mental. For example, if you notice the child cannot sit still even when counseled, or you see that the child has so much energy he wants to do several things at once, or if you see the child constantly moving his fingers or legs, this shows signs of ADHD particularly in impulse control. Impulsiveness may actually be a more telling sign than other factors, since this directly affects social situations. If you are told (or observe) that your child is constantly invading other people's space, is asking irrelevant questions in school, is constantly making tactless observations about others, or is asking personal questions without merit, then this points to poor impulse control, a definite symptom of ADHD.
Treatment of ADHD cannot be taken lightly-either in overreacting or in under-reacting. Instead, diagnosing and treating the problem should be a matter of careful research and professional advice.
by Einar Eskeland