ADHD is one of the most over diagnosed conditions of this generation. 20 years ago it was Asthma, however, ADHD is actually a real condition, though not as wide spread as people believe. There is a big difference between being ADHD and being a cheeky child that never sits still.
Usually ADHD manifests itself at around 2 years old when a child is beginning to get a grasp on the world around them, and it also tends to affect boys. ADHD tends to also piggyback on other disorders such as Autism or Asperger syndrome, hence the huge number of misdiagnoses on children under the age of 5.
The common signs are being unable to concentrate on something, even if they enjoy it, violent tantrums over the most mundane things, a tendency to become obsessed on any given subject, a vivid imagination (which isn’t always a bad thing), razor sharp memory and above average intelligence in their field, for example, a child with ADHD who enjoys Maths will develop far quicker than a child who’s good at Maths but doesn’t have ADHD.
You will also find with children with ADHD that mood swings are common, going from happy and bright to upset and distraught in just a few short minutes, and then will revert back to their normal self.
If you see any of these signs, speak to your doctor for they will be able to refer your child to a specialist who can not only diagnose anything, but also provide you with the tools to deal and live with your child’s condition.
Depression isn’t overly common in children with ADHD, however, leading into the teenage years and puberty (the joys!), it can raise its ugly head. Mainly due to conflicting hormones, general confusion and sexual identity, not to mention the need for teenagers to be seen as ‘cool’ a lot more goes on in a teenager’s head than school work and the popular band of the moment! Being open and honest with your child is the best method to making sure that your child is not only happy and thriving, but also letting them know that you are there for them regardless of the problem.
Paying attention to what their teachers tell you is also a very good way to work out if something is wrong. Teachers see over 10,000 pupils in their careers, you’ll more than likely see no more than 1000 while parenting, and as teachers spend more time with your kids than you do during school time, they do know what they’re talking about. Listen to them, get them on your side and let them help you, they went into the profession wanting to help.