My son must have been about three years old when I was determined he had Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As a young single mother I had no clue what to do, with my wild inattentive, uncontrollable, poorly behaved child. I ran through the options, should I take him to the pediatrician and get him on psychiatric meds? Should I work on behavior modification? Should I modify his diet in the hopes that removing certain ingredients would promote a noticeable difference in his attitude? I didn’t know what to do.
The hardest part of my dilemma is that most healthy children are inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive at one time or another. It’s normal for preschoolers to have short attention spans and be unable to stick with one activity for long. So you can image at doctor appointments, visits with grandparents, and chance meetings with other moms in the park, my most offered advice was “just be patient, he’s so young this type of behavior is normal.”
For seven long years I listened to this advice from other parents, teachers, doctors, and friends, in other words for seven years too many. I listened to other people tell me how to care for my own son. After trying to navigate the ups and downs my sons behavior had on our family, I finally went with my gut and spoke with his pediatrician about getting a diagnosis. After so many years of behavioral issues at both home and school it didn’t take long for the initial assessments with the pediatrician to confirm an ADHD diagnosis.
After diagnosis my son was prescribed medication and scheduled for weekly therapy visits. As a mom who fought to not medicate her son for so many years, I can tell you that there is quite a noticeable difference. I don’t want to sit on my soap box and tell other parents who they should treat or handle their children with ADHD, but for my son and our family medication and therapy were the best option for us. However, the therapy and the medication do go hand in hand, so if you move forward you will most likely reap the most benefits by moving forward with both.
7 Signs That Your Child May Have ADHD
You know, when they don’t really care if you won two out of three of rock, paper, scissors, because they’ve now decided its best out of five.
Like you asked them to do the dishes and five minutes later you’ve found the dish washer left open, half-full, and a trail of bread crumbs leading you to where zoomed off to.
This symptom is the whole reason they invented those trendy spinners, so if your child previously tugged on clothing strings, jewelry, their hair (my son even played with his lower lip), these are all ways you can easily spot fidgeting.
A lot of kids with ADHD love to hear themselves talk, but when they are asked to listen, a lot of times they lose the ability to focus after a minute or so. If you promise a reward before giving an explanation, the explanation is not heard nor was the original offer for a reward, that’s their inability to keep their attention focused on that one given task.
I suppose moody is a nice way of putting it. What I really mean is if your ten year old (like mine) still has temper tantrums, this would fall under the extreme emotional duress of a child with ADHD. A perfect example would be attempting to catch a ball and when it doesn’t land in your hands getting so violently angry that you throw a huge fit, get red in the face, and may even break down in tears.
Sometimes these mistakes seem intentional, but when confronted the child may become really upset that they did something wrong. One of the easier examples would be rushing through a math question not realizing it said “add” and not “subtract.” These mistakes are often made because of the child’s inability to focus.