Children have endless amounts of energy that parents cannot compete with. Most kids are hyperactive, easily distracted, and always excited. That is why determining whether your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be confusing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should not force an ADHD diagnosis on your child before they are twelve. ADHD’s core symptoms will cause daily issues at school and home with attention and self-control. Technically, the ADHD symptoms are behavioral changes that you must look out for.
Reports suggest that 3.3 million American children between 12 and 17 years have ADHD. Every three to five years, 265,000 children are diagnosed. Various environmental, prenatal, and hereditary factors influence the development of ADHD in a child. In this blog, we will discuss the early signs of ADHD, how to diagnose it, and more.
Why Does Your Child Have ADHD?
Reports suggest that ADHD is hereditary in most cases. There is a one-in-four chance that your child will develop ADHD if a close family member has it. Moreover, brain function controls the activity and attention level of a child. If the anatomy is different, the child will develop ADHD.
Significant head injuries and prematurity can lead to ADHD. In some cases, environmental toxins can also cause your child to develop this chronic condition. For example, lead contamination in the body leads to delayed development in the child.
Another contributing factor is in-utero exposure to alcohol, drugs, and medication. For instance, researchers linked prenatal Tylenol consumption to neurological issues in unborn babies. Examples include autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD.
According to TorHoerman Law, Johnson & Johnson has been under scrutiny for the side effects of this over-the-counter drug during pregnancy. Babies have a 24% chance of developing ADHD if their mothers use Tylenol during pregnancy. Hence, affected individuals are suing the manufacturers and distributors for failing to warn about side effects.
You can file a Tylenol lawsuit if you took this drug during pregnancy and your child developed ADHD or ASD. The payouts can range between USD 50,000 and USD 300,000, depending on the extent of damage. Currently, 188 lawsuits are pending without approved settlements or scheduled trials.
8 Early Signs of ADHD
The Iowa Clinic states that ADHD has a complex list of symptoms you cannot diagnose in one day. Technically, children with ADHD exhibit signs of distraction, disorganization, and impulsiveness. They cannot manage emotions, leading to outbursts and tantrums.
At some point, every kid shows signs of ADHD because they are acting their age. Hence, you should look for telltale signs, like:
- Your child will squirm, constantly tap their feet, or fidget
- They cannot sit in their seats for prolonged periods at church, home, or school
- The child talks excessively and interrupts conversations without waiting for their turn
- They have high motor skills and an inability to be quiet
- Your kid will make careless and silly mistakes
- They cannot listen to the teacher or focus on the tasks
- Your child can have difficulty organizing activities and following instructions
- They cannot keep track of their school supplies or toys
In short, early signs of ADHD include inactivity, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, some ADHD symptoms can be underlying signs of other conditions. Examples include depression, dyslexia, seizure disorders, ASD, brain injury, etc. That is why you must get an expert diagnosis from medical personnel.
How to Diagnose ADHD in Your Child?
There are no specific tests that can medically diagnose ADHD. Even then, the doctor will make a diagnosis based on the common factors, like:
- Medical exam to rule out other conditions like brain injury, dyslexia, etc
- Gathering information about medical issues and family history
- Analyzing the child’s personal and school records
- Questionnaires for the parents, teachers, caregivers, and coaches
- Use of ADHD rating scales to evaluate and collect information about the child
Developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, speech pathologists, and psychologists can help you evaluate whether or not your child has ADHD. They will interview your child to determine if they fit into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
According to the Nemours Kids Health Organization, parents should rely on medical professionals for a proper diagnosis before starting treatment. The checkups can include vision and hearing tests to determine the symptoms.
The Way Forward
Once you have received an ADHD diagnosis for your child, it is time to focus on treatment. According to WebMD, long-term treatment, medication, and behavioral therapy can work together to treat ADHD. For example, methylphenidate is an FDA-approved drug for treating ADHD.
Similarly, psychoeducation and awareness about ADHD can help enhance behavioral therapy outcomes. It involves encouraging behavior management with a proper reward system. You can also enroll in education programs and parental training for ADHD.
Some parenting tips include creating a routine, limiting the child’s choices, making lists, organizing everything, and staying positive. You must be warm and understanding toward your child. Be involved with them and work with your kid’s school system.