HELP ME GROW: ADHD awareness month

Learning that your child has ADHD, or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, can seem scary. As long as you have the right resources, there is no doubt that your child can live a healthy life with ADHD. So, what is it? According to Kids Health, ADHD is a behavioral disorder that affects at least 10% of school-age children.

There are three categories of ADHD. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of each type:

Hyperactive-Impulsive: Symptoms include excessive fidgeting and difficulty staying put or waiting. Children with this type tend to have issues with interrupting others.

Inattentive: An inattentive child may struggle with paying attention to details, following instructions, organization or forgetfulness. They may avoid or dislike tasks that challenge them mentally.

A Combination: It is possible for your child to have a combination of Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive behaviors as well.

There isn’t a test that can simply determine if your kid has ADHD or not. A diagnosis is dependent on a complete evaluation. If you are a concerned parent, you should know a few things that must be considered for a proper diagnosis. It is likely your child has ADHD if they convey any of the behaviors listed in the symptoms before the age of twelve. The behaviors should affect your child more severely than other children, and should persist for at least six months. A doctor won’t be able to determine the seriousness of these acts, unless it is negatively affecting the child’s life in at least two ways, such as at school and home.

While there is no one cause of the disorder, ADHD often has ties to biological origins. So, what can you do to help your child? There are several ways to manage ADHD. Stimulants, non-stimulants or antidepressants are options that can be prescribed by a doctor depending on your child’s needs. If you wish to veer away from medicine, behavioral therapy is available as well as alternative treatments that your doctor may offer.

Stay ahead of the curve and screen your child regularly to be aware of ADHD or other possible issues. Practicing this will allow you to identify any symptoms early on and make sure your child is on track mentally, physically and emotionally. To learn more about ADHD, visit Kids Health or dial 2-1-1 for more information from Help Me Grow .