School Age Kids With ADD and ADHD
How do you tell if your child is just really, really rambunctious or if he has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? (ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder [ADD].)
The only way to know for sure is to have him examined by a trained mental health professional such as a school psychologist, child psychologist, or psychiatrist. This professional will conduct a full psychological assessment.
That said, here are some symptoms that you can look for.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is generally thought to be caused by a genetic and/or neurobiological condition that's made worse by environmental factors such as exposure to drugs in utero or lead exposure.
Symptoms of ADHD fall into three categories:
- Inattention. Symptoms of inattention include difficulty sustaining attention, being easily distracted, and difficulty with organization.
- Hyperactivity. Symptoms of hyperactivity include fidgeting, difficulty playing quietly, and talking excessively.
- Impulsiveness. Symptoms of impulsiveness include difficulty waiting turns and interrupting others.
To receive a diagnosis of ADHD, a child must show some of these symptoms before age 7 and the symptoms must cause impairment in at least two settings, such as home and school.