Sarah watched her son from the doorway of his bedroom.
His very messy bedroom.
She bit back the urge to say, “Pick up your clothes,” “Where’s your homework?” or “You’re going to miss the bus!” Again.
He barely stopped for a kiss as he ran past her.
Trampling the clothes and shoving math homework in the bottom of his backpack (likely never to be turned in), he ran full-speed out the front door.
Sarah sighed, grabbed her keys, and headed for the garage.
…There was no way he was going to make that bus.
Is there a similar scene playing out at your house?
For many families, ADHD is much more than persistent classroom inattention or uncontrollable fidgeting at the dinner table.
A host of wide-ranging ADHD symptoms are often overlooked.
ADHD disrupts your family rhythm.
It complicates childhood fun and friendships.
When little known symptoms of ADHD get together with commonly understood signs, like lack of focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, they may be pretty tough to manage.
To get a clearer idea of the challenges, familiarize yourself with some lesser know symptoms of ADHD:
Do other children express frustration when they attempt to interact with your child? Does your child complain of being “left out”?
Communication and cooperation are difficult for kids with ADHD.
The tendency to interrupt or say things without considering the other’s feelings can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings on the playground or at a sleepover.
- Difficulty sharing
- Problems taking turns
- Participation in group play or discussion
Eating and Sleeping Issues
Does your child seem sensitive or picky at meal times? Are you constantly seeing your child through long nights of “I can’t sleep” and bad dreams?
ADHD and stimuli are best friends. Many children are too distracted to eat well. Others experience sensory issues that create food sensitivities. Sleeplessness and nightmares often come with hyperactivity as well.
Meltdowns and Overwhelm
Is your child quick to throw a tantrum? Is he or she overcome with anger, anxiety, or excitement at any given moment? Do you often change your plans or activities to accommodate your child’s emotional reactions?
Emotional management is tricky for ADHD kids. Impulsivity works against appropriate coping skills, self-control, and self-monitoring. When frustration sets in, ADHD kids experience an emotional response that is swift, unchecked, and sometimes disturbing to others.
Does your child put him or herself down? Are words like “stupid,” phrases like “I hate my life” common? Is general unhappiness the norm for your child?
ADHD behaviors can provoke negative reactions from others. Kids may feel “broken,” unacceptable, or worthless. Low self-esteem can then lead to harsh self-criticism, depression, and more acting out.
How many reminders do you give your child about upcoming events? Does he or she have little recollection of what happened days or hours before?
ADHD makes staying in the present difficult. Your child may not absorb enough information to create solid memories. Essentially, distraction leads to incomplete short-term memory retention and lost chunks of time and experiences.
Does your child seem chronically unprepared? Is he or she prone to tardiness? Is he or she always asking for “just one more minute?”
As children progress through childhood and the teen years, procrastination, motivation, and organization become real areas of concern. ADHD may be mistaken for other learning disabilities or defiance. Timing and awareness are consistently a challenge.
ADHD encompasses more than most parents initially realize.
But knowledge is the power to help your child.
With key information, increased awareness, and the support of an experienced therapist, you can help your child thrive.