Focus on Focus: A Look at ADHD

Focus on Focus: A Look at ADHD

Let’s face it, the homework our children have to do can sometimes be boring.

With a seemingly endless amount of things vying for their attention, no wonder it can be difficult to get them to complete their work and make it to bed. But, what is the difference between a child struggling to focus and one that has Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders found in childhood. Compared to general distractedness or restlessness, symptoms of ADHD persist over long periods of time and begin at birth.

Common Symptoms to Look Out For

  • Failing to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes
  • Difficulty sustaining attention
  • Often fidgeting or squirming
  • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly
  • Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
  • Difficulty waiting their turn and often interrupting others

If you notice these symptoms, it’s important to bring this up with your child’s primary care doctor. While ADHD cannot be cured, there are a number of ways to treat it.

Common Treatment Options

  • Counseling
  • Behavior coping strategies
  • Treating other contributing factors like lack of sleep, poor nutrition or depression
  • Medication

Often a combination of these treatment options can result in successful outcomes for children suffering from ADHD.

Misconceptions

A common misconception about ADHD is, once diagnosed, a patient is required to take medication for the rest of their life. However, research indicates the optimal treatment, for many individuals, involves at least a trial on medication, paired with appropriate counseling and behavioral strategies. It is relatively rare that someone is on medication for his or her entire life.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of ADHD can help you determine what the best course of action is for your child.

To learn more, visit TMH.ORG/MentalHealth.

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