You’ve had questions about your child’s behaviors for a while now. Maybe you have shared these concerns with others and were met with dismissive comments like, “We’re all a little ADHD!” Just remember, you know your child best and you are the best person to advocate for them.
How do I distinguish ADHD from “normal” kid behavior?
ADHD is one of the most common brain-based disorders in children. As a parent, you may notice concerns with your child’s ability to pay attention, focus on schoolwork, listen to directions, or control impulses. Your child might also hit others, have very big tantrums, talk too much, have trouble staying seated, or blurt out/interrupt frequently.
It is normal for children (especially young children!) to have difficulty paying attention or aggressive behaviors from time to time. It is really the frequency and degree to which you see these behaviors and whether your child starts to outgrow these patterns.
ADHD is usually diagnosed in children 5 years of age or older (sometimes as early as 4 years), as the diagnosis requires that the child shows significant symptoms in more than one setting (e.g., school, home, or with friends).
If you start to notice that your child is not maturing out of these behaviors at the same rate as their peers, or these behaviors are having a negative impact on life at home or school, then an ADHD evaluation can help you identify services to help your child thrive.
I suspect it is ADHD… now what?
Start with your pediatrician who can connect you with other professionals who evaluate and treat ADHD. Your child’s pediatrician may have you fill out some behavior checklists, or they may refer you to a specialist (such as a child psychologist, neuropsychologist, or developmental pediatrician).
Where do I find support for my child with ADHD or suspected ADHD?
Once your evaluation is complete, you will be armed with resources to help your child thrive. These might include referrals for behavioral therapy, medication, school accommodations/interventions, and referrals to other specialists, www.childinjuryfirm.com/strattera-atomoxetine. One of the most important parts of this journey is connecting with parents who “get it”. Join your local CHADD group and find other parents who understand your experience.
We would love to support you as you raise a happy and independent child with ADHD. Grab a copy of our free ADHD parenting guide and check out our online course, Creating Calm, at our website at thechildhoodcollective.com
The Childhood Collective
The Childhood Collective is a team of two child psychologists (Lori Long, Ph.D. and Mallory Yee, Ph.D.) and a speech language pathologist (Katie Severson, M.S., CCC-SLP). Most importantly, they are three moms who are dedicated to supporting parents of children with ADHD. With over 40 years of combined professional experience, they empower parents by teaching science-backed strategies to raise happy and confident children!