Does My Child Have ADD/ADHD?
Sam helped his six-year-old daughter, Grace, with schoolwork every night. She often brought home worksheets because she could not finish them in class. When he commented to another parent about how much "homework" their first-graders had, the other parent seemed puzzled. Sam had noticed that Grace had a hard time getting through a worksheet — she would fidget, go to the bathroom, ask for a snack, or talk about something unrelated. Grace said that she loved school, yet she couldn't focus on school tasks. Sam thought:
* Most of Grace's classmates seem to be able to stick with a game or conversation for a longer time on play dates.
* Parents of other children in Grace's class say that they almost always finish their work in class and that the few worksheets that come home take a short time to complete.
* Tasks that require extended focus are difficult for Grace, unless she loves an activity.
* When we are at museums, or learning in an active manner, Grace does well. When she must sit still, she cannot stay on task.
Sam decided to talk with Grace's teacher, who had similar observations. She said Grace might be a little immature, but it wouldn't hurt to investigate further. When Grace was evaluated by a learning and behavior specialist, she presented all the markers for a mild ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Grace's parents read about the condition, and made changes in their home environment and the way they parented — using a behavior chart, following a tighter schedule — and arranged for extra help at school. Thanks to Sam's sleuthing, Grace still loves school — and doesn't bring it home with her every night.
More on ADD/ADHD Symptoms in Children
Common ADD/ADHD Symptoms in Children
ADD/ADHD Symptoms Checklist
Preschool-Age ADD/ADHD Children: Too Young for a Diagnosis?
An Accurate ADD/ADHD Diagnosis for Children
ADD/ADHD Toddlers: Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit in Young Children