Most parents cringe when they hear the words ADHD or ADD mentioned in the same sentence as their child’s name.  I did, and did for a long time. After doing some research of my own, I realized that a better understanding make these capital letters a lot less scary.

What is ADD? Attention deficit disorder usually comes to our attention at teacher parent interviews.  Teachers tell us that our child cannot give close attention to details and tend to make careless mistakes in their schoolwork. Our child cannot maintain attention through schoolwork activities or even play. Teachers feel that our child does not listen when they are spoken directly to. Our child does not follow through on instructions and fail to finish tasks. Older children have difficulty in organizing tasks and activities.  We are told that our child refrains from taking part in activities that require sustained mental effort. The teacher found that he often loses things necessary to complete tasks and is easily distracted by other things in their environment. The teacher says that our child is often forgetful in daily activities.

What is ADHD? Parent with children with ADHD, hear most of the above plus another mouthful!  Teachers tell these parents that their child often fidgets or squirms in his seat at school.  They feel that our child leaves his seat often, even when he is required to remain seated. Our child often runs and climbs excessively in situations where it is not appropriate. Our child cannot sit in the corner and read a book, he has to be doing something more active. Teachers complain that our child talks way too much.  We hear that he cannot wait his turn and blurts out answers even before the question is completed. He interrupts or intrudes on others in their games.

Some people feel that ADD and ADHD is often over diagnosed and our children become labeled and as a result discriminated against in the school system.  These people feel that all of the above is part of being a child and being mentioned just because the teacher has an inability to control our child. I do believe in some cases this is true, but we as parents have to be weary and look for these symptoms at home.  It is quite likely that your child have symptoms of ADHD if you cannot wait for him in the evening to finally collapse and you collapse simultaneously!

If your child has ADD or ADHD, your understanding and empathy can make a huge difference in their development.  They cannot help the inner surge of being driven or the inability to concentrate. We should help them by teaching them the correct ways of doing things in the way they would understand it. Do not just jump to medication. Often we can change their behavior that is not desirable through changing their diet and also some behavior training.  Most of all be patient with your child!