Does your child struggle with paying attention? Do they become too impulsive with their actions? Hyperactivity in children is normal, especially in their younger years. Some might experience trouble focusing and controlling their behaviors one time or another. However, if you notice that your child does not grow out of these habits, you may want to consider talking to a pediatric doctor. There might be an underlying reason why your child acts this way.
One of the most common reasons for a child to have trouble with self-control is because they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD symptoms include having difficulty with attentiveness, make careless actions, or become overly active.
If you suspect your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, this article will show how you could help in the diagnosis of their condition and find ways to seek treatment.
What Is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a prevalent neurodevelopmental condition. In most cases, symptoms manifest during early childhood, and diagnosis happens before the age of seven and often continues into adulthood. It often characterizes many behavioral issues, including challenges related to hyperactivity, self-control, and impulse.
Children with ADHD symptoms may have a hard time controlling their spontaneous responses. As the condition persists, the manifestation can become more severe and cause problems. Some children with ADHD may develop low self-esteem, leading to poor academic performance and troubled relationships.
What Are the Different Types of ADHD?
There are three forms of ADHD. Each type constitutes which symptoms are the most prominent in an individual, such as:
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
In this type of ADHD, the majority of the concerns fall under attention issues. The child will find it difficult to plan or complete an assignment, observe details, obey orders or follow conversations. Basically, the person is easy to distract, and remembering daily tasks can be a challenge.
Predominantly Hyperactive or Impulsive
As its name suggests, a person with this condition experiences trouble with impulsiveness and hyperactivity.
There is a visible sign of impatience, so waiting for their turn or listening to instructions can be a concern. Likewise, controlling their actions can be a struggle. A common manifestation includes fidgeting and talking. Younger children can become restless and continuously sprint, hop, or climb.
An impulsive child can often interrupt others, snatch and grab items, or talk excessively. Since staying still for an extended period is almost impossible, the child’s behavior makes them more likely to get into accidents that could cause unexpected injuries.
Combined Hyperactivity in Children
This type is a combination of all related ADHD symptoms from the two types.
What Causes ADHD?
With continuous efforts, scientists are looking for the possible causes and risk factors relating to ADHD. While the answers remain unclear, recent studies indicate that genetics play a significant role in developing the condition.
Other than genetics, scientists are studying probable causes, such as:
- Substance abuse, including using alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental factors during child-bearing or early infancy
- Premature delivery
- Brain injury
- Low birth weight
Some popular views may claim other reasons for a child to develop ADHD. Habits such as overeating sugar or not limiting screen time are the leading concern by many parents. However, researchers do not support these statements. Although some of these activities can exacerbate the manifestation of ADHD symptoms, there is still insufficient evidence that can firmly suggest that these are indeed primary causes of ADHD.
How to Identify Unusual Hyperactivity in Children?
Perhaps one of the most common questions we encounter is differentiating a typical developmental behavior from an ADHD. Indeed, distinguishing between a neurodevelopmental condition versus a typical kid’s behavior can be difficult.
According to some experts, the symptoms of unusual behavior in children can closely resemble hyperactivity in Groats disease, a fictional condition from the classic sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. It characterizes extreme habits such as talking too much or being too scared or nervous all the time. In the sitcom, the character diagnosed with Groat’s disease portrays an individual who consumes approximately five cups of coffee in one sitting.
This observation is in the high likeness of ADHD. Although it is typical for children to have a short attention span, someone with hyperactivity issues does not outgrow this behavior. At most times, this condition is present all the time, regardless of the situation or location.
Is It Possible to Diagnose Hyperactivity in Children?
Determining whether or not a child has ADHD is a multi-step procedure. There is no single test for diagnosing ADHD as many other issues can share similar symptoms. These include other forms of learning disorders, sleep issues, and mental health concerns.
A physical assessment is the first step in the diagnosis of ADHD. A pediatric doctor may perform a series of evaluations, including hearing and vision examinations, to rule out any similar symptoms. Some specialists use a checklist for rating the symptoms of ADHD. Accordingly, they take the history of the child from birth to the present time. It is also necessary to learn more from those who commonly interact with the child in some cases. These include the parents, guardians, and primary care providers.
How Is Hyperactivity Treated?
Typically, hyperactivity caused by ADHD is manageable with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication.
However, the first-line treatment includes teaching self-control techniques to parents. At-home methods are encouraged, especially for children under the age of five years. During this stage, medical intervention might not be a healthy option.
Depending on the child’s response and progress, your pediatric doctor will make a personalized treatment plan to suit their needs. What works best for each child can vary. Therefore, close supervision, regular follow-ups, and making changes are necessary for a successful treatment plan.
Are There Other Ways to Manage Hyperactivity in Children?
Good habits are essential for all children, but they are exceptionally vital for children with ADHD. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in addition to medical intervention and therapy sessions, will help your child deal with the effects of ADHD.
Other ways can help your child cope with severe ADHD attacks. Pediatricians recommend the following:
Set up a schedule and stick to it
You can help your child to stay motivated and composed by organizing routine activities. By following these daily tasks, you can sharpen your child’s ability to stick to schedules while keeping them occupied throughout the day.
You can model your child’s behavior by putting up a set of rules and explaining what will happen when they follow or disobey these conditions. Then, follow them through each time with the corresponding reward or consequences. By doing so, you are allowing your child to think before doing an action impulsively.
Encourage sleep and exercise
Physical exercise boosts brain development and enhances attention span. It also contributes to improved sleep and will help to reduce the effects of ADHD in children.
Encourage eating habits
Schedule daily nutritious meals or snacks every three hours to control ADHD symptoms, and cut down on sugary and other junk foods.
Teach them how to make friends
Make it a point to teach your child how to make friends. Teach them ways to become more assertive listeners, pay attention to people’s reactions and body language, and interact with others.
Parenting Tips for Hyperactivity in Children
Although poor parenting does not necessarily constitute hyperactivity in children, there are helpful parenting strategies to help resolve your child’s troublesome habits. If you happen to notice signs that resemble hyperactivity, don’t wait to get clinical support.
Children with ADHD may require you to give more attention and time. Indeed, managing a child with hyperactivity concerns can be exhausting and stressful. Nonetheless, there is a lot more than you can do to help your kid overcome the condition. Like most kids, all they need is constant affection, support, and encouragement.
Seeking Professional Help
In order to minimize the likelihood of uncontrollable situations, it is best to consult with your pediatric doctor for additional support. Seeking professional advice can help you decide how to make a difference in your child’s symptoms. With the proper support, you can help your child get back on track and improve their quality of life.
Wrapping It Up
Your child’s hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity are not something you should take lightly. If left untreated, it can last into adulthood, and symptoms can become more severe.
Children who lack concentration and self-control can struggle in school, get into trouble often, and have difficulty getting along with others or making friends. These frustrations and challenges will lead to low self-esteem, as well as family issues and tension.
Therefore, even without a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, it is best to handle your child’s behavior as soon as possible. Aside from following good parenting practice, you can work hand in hand with your pediatric doctor, therapist, and school to develop a well-tailored plan to improve your child’s behavior.