For parents diagnosing add ADHD in their children, it is of utmost importance to be familiar with the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Children mature at different rates, but most small children show some of the symptoms. A lack of attentiveness becomes a problem when it is inappropriate for the child's age.
So what specifically are the symptoms of attention deficit disorder? According to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders for the year 2000, there are nine ADD symptoms and nine more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity used for diagnosing add ADHD. ADD is diagnosed when the symptoms of inattentiveness are present for 6 months or more. ADHD is diagnosed when ADD is present and the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity are also present.
To qualify as symptoms of attention deficit disorder, the child must display the characteristics often enough for them to cause problems for him or her socially and academically. If a child displays 6 of the following 9 characteristics, ADD is probable:
1) The child makes careless mistakes in schoolwork and does not pay attention to details.
2) The child has problems keeping his or her mind on play or work activities.
3) When you speak to the children with ADD, they don't seem to pay attention.
4) They don't finish their school assignments, but it is not because they are being oppositional. In other words, they can't finish their work, whether they want to or not.
5) The child is disorganized.
6) The child doesn't like school or other activities that require a lot of mental effort for a long period of time.
7) Children with ADD tend to lose things they need for school, such as pencils, assignments, and the like.
8) ADD children tend to be distracting.
9) And finally, they tend to be forgetful.
Diagnosing add ADHD requires the above set of symptoms of attention deficit disorder, along with at least six of these other symptoms displayed: fidgeting, not being able to stay in their seat, restlessness, inability to play quietly, acts like they are “driven by a motor", overly talkative, blurts out answers, can't wait their turn, and interrupts others’ conversations.
There is more to diagnosing add ADHD, however, than just the presence of the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. For one thing, the symptoms must cause significant impairment to the child in school and in social activities. Also, the symptoms must be present in more than one setting. For instance, if the child only shows them at school and not at home, it indicates that the problem is something other than ADD.
Finally, for diagnosing ADD ADHD , it is essential that there is no other diagnosis of a mental condition. If the child can be diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mood disorder, or a developmental disability, that will stand as the primary diagnosis. This is because the symptoms of attention deficit disorder are often present in these conditions.
If your child is diagnosed with add or ADHD, the doctor will normally recommend stimulant medication. Before moving forward with this type of medication, educate yourself so you know what you are getting into. The side effects of stimulant medication are numerous and sometimes severe.
We have found that a more natural approach has given great results in improving behavior and concentration. By focusing on diet and using herbal supplements, our son's behavior has turned around completely. It is important to look beyond the doctor's recommendations when diagnosing add, ADHD and other behavioral issues. By doing so, you will avoid the pitfalls of stimulant medication and provide a healthier future for your child.
Terry Tobin has been a student of the link between nutrition and behavior for over 8 years. His research led him to finding natural ways of dealing with attention and mood issues in his own life and family. Terry is the editor of Help For ADHD where he shares what he has found to be effective, natural help for ADD and ADHD. If you or someone you know is dealing with ADD/ADHD and the behaviors associated with it, then visit Help For ADHD to learn more about effective ways to improve concentration and behavior and to learn about the line of natural ADHD remedies that Terry personally recommends.