Sometimes kids are “just being kids,” and they are hyper, impulsive, and don’t necessarily make the best decisions. They might act up at school or home, causing disruptions and frustration all around.
Consistent patterns of this type of behavior may indicate that your child is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). BUT, it also may not mean this at all. It is important to work with your clinician to consider all possible things going on that are impacting your child’s ability to focus and maintain behavior standards for their different environments.
Some other factors to look at, which may very well present like ADHD, are the following.
- Sleep. Is your child getting adequate sleep? Inadequate rest makes it difficult to manage behavior and think clearly. It is even important to note if your child snores regularly. This can mean that even though they’re “sleeping,” the rest they are getting is not deep and not sufficient.
- Hearing. Sometimes we just assume our children can hear. But, in some cases, they really cannot. Our words may seem garbled to them, making instructions received seem confusing, resulting in little follow through on their part. Regular doctor’s appointments where they perform a simple hearing test can help rule out hearing problems.
- Stress, Anxiety or Depression. When children are worried or depressed, it can be difficult to focus, or the child may even start acting out with disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Or, perhaps your child is internalizing some stresses that are happening at home, or even at school, such as bullying. These possibilities should be carefully explored in an ADHD assessment.
- Drug or alcohol use. Though a difficult reality to face, some children may be experimenting with or regularly using, drugs or alcohol, which can severely impair the ability to concentrate, or may lead to unusual or disruptive behaviors.
- Bored or Gifted. Sometimes children have difficulty sitting still and maintaining on-task behavior because they are very gifted and do not find the subject matters to be challenging enough to keep their mind busy and focused. A discussion with your child’s teacher about his/her observations of your child in the learning environment can help rule this out.
- Dehydration. Our brains need water to function at optimum performance. When we don’t drink enough water, our brain’s chemistry gets thrown off. This inhibits our ability to focus, think clearly and make good decisions. Encourage your child to drink water with meals, between meals as well as before, during and after exercise.
If you’re ready for help in assessing whether or not your child suffers from ADHD, give us a call at New Horizon’s Center for Healing today. Our board-certified psychiatrist specializing in North Dallas ADHD counseling services can provide a comprehensive and helpful evaluation.