What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions in childhood. Children diagnosed with ADHD struggle to pay attention for long periods, they might struggle with controlling or managing their impulsivity, and they might be hyperactive.
Signs of ADHD
Some common signs of children diagnosed with ADHD may include:
Daydreaming a lot
Constantly fidgets or moves around
Talks a lot
Forgets or loses things often
Takes risks and/or makes careless mistakes
Struggles to take turns
Seems to struggle with their impulse control
Might seem overly emotional at times
Keeping track of behaviors, moods, and anxiety is always a good idea and providing these insights to your child’s pediatrician to ensure better and more effective care.
Different Types of ADHD
ADHD is presented in three different ways. These presentations can also change over time according to the symptoms the individual is experiencing.
Inattentive ADHD presentation: when a child struggles to pay attention and complete tasks. This also includes when a child struggles to focus on details, follow instructions, organize thoughts and maintain conversations. They might be easily distracted and forget daily tasks that other children or siblings seem to follow without any reminders.
Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD presentation: when a child struggles to sit still, moves or fidgets constantly, and struggles with impulsivity. Children might seem “always on the move” and running, jumping, or climbing when other children or siblings are easier to calm. These children might also be a bit more accident-prone as they struggle with their impulsivity and might be more risk-prone.
Combined ADHD presentation: both presentations are equally presented in children with a combined type of ADHD.
Therapy Options for ADHD
Similar to children diagnosed with autism, therapy options for children diagnosed with ADHD vary greatly. It depends on the severity of the symptoms, your child’s main need or challenges, and access to appropriate therapy support.
As a parent, you are the true expert on your child and should follow your intuition here. Finding support groups of other parents with children diagnosed with ADHD is always great. It makes a difference to know you are not alone on this journey.
Once you receive a diagnosis, take some time to process this as a family. Taking a step back and looking at what your child is struggling with most will help to focus on what type of support is most appropriate and needed. Usually, with children diagnosed with ADHD it is important to help them understand their own profile - how to self-regulate and self-advocate for their specific needs. Finding an appropriate occupational therapist could be of great help here. Find out from your support group and ADHD coach, as it might save you some precious time (and money).
Most of all - remember to take some time also to support yourself. During this time and moving forward, finding the right support network that can be your pillar during the different stages of your and your child’s journey is important.