ADHD looks different in different children. Read on to learn about the lesser-known behaviors that can be indicators of ADHD that might have slipped under your radar.
ADHD is one of the most prevalent learning disabilities, affecting around 9% of students in the United States. It stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning simply that it has to do with how the brain grows, and as such is often diagnosed during childhood–though an increasing number of adults are being diagnosed too.
Most parents are familiar with the common manifestations of the disorder, having seen children who cannot focus or sit still, who often cause classroom disruptions. However, despite knowing the common symptoms of ADHD, many fail to recognize that some children can struggle with the disorder without displaying the telltale signs we are conditioned to look out for, as ADHD looks different in different children.
Here we outline the lesser-known behaviors that can be indicators of ADHD that might have slipped under your radar.
This is the most commonly overlooked symptom, as ADHD usually primarily manifests as difficulty with staying focused. Many don’t realize that the exact opposite can also be a symptom of ADHD, as lack of focus and hyperfocus are two sides of the same coin.
Children who struggle with hyperfocus often take things so far to the other extreme that they remain transfixed on a certain task for so long that they lose track of time, or forget other important responsibilities. If a child tends to tune out the world around them completely when working on a simple, menial task, they could be displaying an ADHD symptom.
While it can be totally normal for a child to oscillate between emotions faster than an adult would, extreme emotional volatility can be an often-overlooked symptom of ADHD or other similar disorders. If a child is quick to cry or have an angry outburst when the situation doesn’t merit such a strong response, or if they are taking every little thing as a personal slight, it could be a warning sign that they are struggling with ADHD. Something to note, however, is that emotional sensitivity can accompany a host of other learning disabilities and mood disorders, so it is not a great predictor of ADHD on its own.
Similar to a display of emotional sensitivity, a child experiencing sleep disturbances could be dealing with any number of issues with their emotional or physical health, so a full evaluation and/or a visit to their pediatrician is highly recommended as a place to start. Nevertheless, if a child is having a hard time falling asleep at night, or a hard time staying asleep throughout the night, it could warrant further investigation into an ADHD diagnosis.
Lack of Emotional Control
Beyond being highly sensitive, some children with ADHD also lack emotional control, which translates to inappropriate behavior. For example, children with typical or atypical-presenting ADHD might get bored more easily than their peers, and find extreme discomfort in their boredness, leading them to act out or seek attention. They might have a hard time understanding their emotions, and externalize every bad feeling to their parents, peers, or teachers.
Time Management Issues
Children with ADHD have an extraordinarily difficult time keeping track of tasks they need to get done, and allotting appropriate amounts of time for their homework or other schoolwork. As they get older and are given more responsibility and freedom with their time, this problem tends to compound, resulting in bigger academic and social consequences than before. This is why it’s important to seek a diagnosis as soon as ADHD is suspected, and to employ helpful time management tools, even if that means buying a day planner or using an online calendar.
Being Loud or Disruptive in Class
Not only can focusing or sitting still be an issue for children with ADHD, but they might find themselves seeking attention or actively causing classroom disruptions. If a child has been labeled a “class clown” by their peers or parents, it might be worth investigating if they exhibit other symptoms of ADHD, rather than just chalking it up to a personality trait or issue stemming from their home life. With the proper treatment, many children with ADHD no longer cause problems or constantly crack jokes in a classroom setting.
Children with ADHD often have difficulty interrupting people in the middle of a sentence. While it is often attributed to a lack of manners, it could actually point to a larger difficulty in listening and paying attention to someone while they’re speaking, having nothing to do with whether or not a child may be rude. Rather than make assumptions about a child’s lack of conversational skills, it’s important to remember that frequent interruptions suggest that a child cannot adequately pay attention, which could be due to ADHD or another similar disorder, or even a struggle with anxiety or another mood disorder. Either way, it’s important to treat these children with patience and compassion, and investigate the root cause of their misbehavior.
Identifying And Responding To ADHD Symptoms
Every single human being is different, so it comes as no surprise that not every child with ADHD would fit into the perfect description of symptoms as outlined by the DSM. Rather, many children experience only a few–or even none–of the most common symptoms of ADHD, which can make discovery and diagnosis much more difficult for parents and educators. This is why it’s important for parents to become educated on the lesser-known symptoms of the disorder so that they can help their children get access to the tools they need to succeed academically before ADHD becomes a bigger challenge down the line.
Nowadays, an ADHD diagnosis is no longer a barrier to a fulfilling educational experience, allowing students to thrive not only academically, but also socially and emotionally too. From minimizing distractions to allowing extra time on tests to offering therapy and medication, there are plenty of tools at our disposal to ensure that children with ADHD have their needs met so that they can make scholarly achievements on par with their peers.
Here at Marker Learning, we understand that each child with ADHD may experience it differently. The good news is that our team of specialists can give the care and clarity that you need with our gold standard psychoeducational evaluation.
We deliver accurate results fast so that you can unlock new learning opportunities as soon as possible. So kickstart your learning journey by booking a free consultation with one of our learning disability specialists today. To get started, take this quiz to find out if your child could be a good fit for our services. You can also give us a call anytime at 1-888-291-3587 to learn more about how we can help you get the answers you need.
Posted By Marker Learning Team Jan 26, 2023
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