When you think of a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), you typically have a picture of what signs of ADHD a child may exhibit. You picture a child whose attention you can’t catch, won’t listen, and is disruptive and most often you may think it’s the parents’ fault.
You might think that this child needs more discipline and that would straighten them out. You know what? I thought the same thing before I became a parent of a child with ADHD and the signs are completely different than what I thought a child with ADHD would be like.
ADHD is More Than Just Not Being Able to Sit Still
There is a well-known stereotype of ADHD, the hyperactive stereotype. Where kids who are extra busy and unable to sit still get characterized by having ADHD. However, ADHD affects more than just an inability to pay attention and sit still. Especially, in girls, ADHD can get overlooked since girls may not always be hyperactive.
What’s tough about this stereotype is that there are more concerning challenges faced by kids with ADHD than just sitting and paying attention. Kids with ADHD can also struggle with executive functioning, social skills, emotional regulation, and organizing.
The hyperactive stereotype also brings a lot of fear in parents of someone labeling their child or fearing their child has ADHD because of this misconception. The truth about ADHD is that these kids are not bad and it’s not a result of bad parenting. It is simply different wiring in the brain.
ADHD Signs That I Almost Missed
I didn’t realize how big ADHD was really playing out in our life. Hyperactivity is easy to spot, it is the always on, the always moving, the constant buzz in our house. It’s the difficulty with having sit at the table for dinner, especially when something more exciting could be done at the same time as eating.
It’s easy to miss the other signs of ADHD. Especially when you have multiple diagnoses, trying to figure what goes with which acronym can sometimes be a challenge.
I’m a Mom on a mission to help other parents and teachers learn the signs of ADHD.
Listen for These Statements
If your child says these statements often it might be signs of something more than you might think.
1. “I am so stupid.” Kids with ADHD often struggle with self-esteem. It becomes more significant as they get older and start realizing they are struggling more than their peers. >>
2. “I don’t know.” ADHD kids will often pick a quick answer to solve whatever you are asking. They impulsively respond when they don’t know the answer.
3. “I didn’t do it.” Even if it is obvious ADHD kids will impulsive say they didn’t do it to get out of getting into trouble, the connection between their action and consequences may not be there.
4. “It’s going to take forever.” Small and easy tasks can be difficult for them to grasp how quickly they can be done, time management can be challenging. >>
Watch for These Behaviors
The following is a list of signs of ADHD. This list is not complete but meant to give you some of the common behaviors of ADHD compiled from multiple sources.
1. Very messy bedroom or backpack. >>
2. Doesn’t think about the consequence or effect of their actions before doing things. >>
3. Forgets something you just told them about. >>
4. Doesn’t know how to get started on tasks, for example, cleaning their bedroom. >>
5. Hyper-focused on tasks they find interesting. >>
6. Can be very emotional and unable to regulate highs and lows. >>
7. Doesn’t follow directions. >>
8. Easily frustrated. >>
9. Sometimes seems like they daydreaming. >>
10. Often staring blankly out the window or doodling. >>
11. Loses things often. >>
12. Often interrupts conversations. >>
13. Talks excessively. >>
14. Doesn’t seem like they are listening when you talk to them. >>
15. Often gets sidetracked. When you tell them to go brush their teeth and find them in their bedroom looking for a sock. >>
16. Difficulty getting papers to and from school.
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