teacher working with ADHD child

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) most commonly affects children, but can have an impact into the teenage years and even adulthood. The symptoms are varied and present differently depending on the patient’s gender and age and can have a key impact on behavior, relationships, and professional success. Finding the right treatment option is key to leading a successful life where you or your child can achieve both short- and long-term goals with less impediment from the focus disorder. Let’s discuss how to identify symptoms of ADHD and treatment and therapy options that might make sense for your family.

Common Symptoms Of ADHD In Children, Teens, And Adults

Most patients who struggle with a focus-disorder like ADHD see that the symptoms can be categorized into a few distinct buckets. Specifically, symptoms of ADHD fall into one of three very general categories:

  1. Focus
  2. Hyperactivity
  3. Impulse Control

These can look very different in kids with ADHD compared to adults with ADHD, but the root of the struggles remain the same.

Symptoms Of ADHD Related To Focus

It’s important to note that it is completely normal for children to display some inattention, especially throughout the developmental stages for skills like perseverance and dedication. However, if this inattention or inability to focus is hindering your child’s ability to complete basic tasks on a regular basis, you may consider seeking the insight of a professional and having them perform an ADHD spectrum test. Because some inattention is completely normal in children, the symptoms of ADHD related to focus are among the hardest to identify as a real problem. A child who is likely struggling with ADHD may display the following symptoms, in conjunction with the other categories of ADHD behavior:

  • Easily distracted
  • Struggles to listen to and follow directions
  • Cannot finish tasks
  • Does not appear to be listening or paying attentions
  • Repeatedly makes the same, careless mistakes
  • Forgets about regular activities
  • Struggles to organize and prioritize daily activities and tasks
  • Has problems keeping track of things
  • Has a tendency to daydream

Now, you may read this list of symptoms and think they sound like normal behavior for a child and, while in some cases, it is, these symptoms can be linked to ADHD when they inhibit your child’s ability to complete their regular tasks successfully.

college student struggling to focus

Symptoms Of ADHD Related To Hyperactivity

The signs of hyperactivity may seem more obvious to parents, teachers, and even peers. Children who are showing symptoms of ADHD that are related to hyperactivity often:

  • Squirm, fidget, and struggle to sit still
  • Don’t stay seated, even when directed to
  • Don’t show interest or ability to play quietly
  • Are constantly moving and getting into things
  • Talk excessively

These symptoms are easily identified because they are often not resolved by direction or reprimands. A child struggling with ADHD simply cannot sit still or stay seated, which leads us into the final category of symptoms of ADHD: impulse control.

Symptoms Of ADHD Related To Impulse Control

Children with ADHD are going to struggle with impulsivity, which results in having problems waiting for their turn, blurting out comments, and interrupting others. The correlations between this behavior and ADHD can be drawn when repeated attempts to teach your child the alternative seem to fall on deaf ears. With ADHD, the child simply cannot control their impulses to act, speak, or go.

In adult’s these symptoms can look very different, especially considering the changes in the nature of our daily responsibilities as we get older. The symptoms of ADHD in teens and adults are more commonly associated with anxiety, low self-esteem, substance abuse, anger and frustration problems, mood swings, depression, relationship and professional problems.

ADD Versus ADHD

ADD was a type of ADHD, in which the symptoms associated with hyperactivity are absent. In the past, children who displayed symptoms of ADHD without the key behavioral element of hyperactivity were often characterized as being shy or introverted. It is important to note that ADD is no longer a diagnosis accepted in medical circles. Instead, the symptoms of ADHD have been divided to more accurately describe the specific version of the focus-disorder a patient struggles with. We now see ADHD diagnosis looking like the following:

  • ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (what was previously called ADD)
  • ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
  • ADHD Combined Presentation

The diagnosis will depend on the specific symptoms displayed and will directly influence the treatment options that will be the most beneficial for the patient.

woman doing household chores

ADHD Testing For Children And Adults

In order to effectively treat the symptoms of ADHD, you want to ensure that you or your child is actually presenting the neurological patterns that align with the focus-disorder. In some cases, you may check all the boxes symptomatically, but your neurological activity does not show signs of a focus disorder. qEEG brain mapping is the most effective way to determine what is going on neurologically and how that aligns with the behavior presented. The data collected through a qEEG brain map will inform an appropriate treatment plan.

Natural Treatment For ADHD And Focus Disorders

Whether your brain mapping shows electrical patterns that are consistent with ADHD or not, there are still treatment options to help improve your or your child’s ability to focus. In performing the qEEG brain map, our clinicians are able to identify the root of the problem and utilize tools like neurofeedback to redirect the unwanted behaviors into healthy habits that better align with short- and long-term goals.

If you or your child struggle with the ability to stay focused or have been diagnosed with ADHD and want to consider a natural treatment for ADHD before turning to pills, contact the behavior experts at NeurOptimize today to set up a consultation and learn more about our treatment options for ADHD and other focus disorders.