With home-schooling becoming the new norm, many parents are now faced with seeing their children in a different role as a student, and they have been forced into becoming the, often ill-equipped, teacher. Some parents are finding this incredibly difficult, and especially those whose children are not getting on with the schoolwork with as much ease as they’d expect.
- My child cannot sit still!
- My daughter isn’t listening to a word I’m saying!
- My son isn’t following the instructions outlined on the worksheet
- Every outside noise seems to distract my kid and he can’t refocus on the schoolwork.
- My son seems to get bored when we play board games as a family
- My child’s teacher has mentioned a possible concentration problem in the past. I always put it down to my son being too bright, or finding the work too boring. What if she had a point and my son has ADHD?
ADHD is a diagnosis that is made on observation. There are no blood tests or scans that will provide us with a definitive diagnosis. Features should be present before the age of 12. Certain features need to be present for 6 months, and we need to see this behaviour in more than one setting such as at home, at school, and on the sports field. These strict settings have been blurred during lockdown, but these behaviours should be observed during different activities during the day, such as when doing school work, and interacting with siblings or parents.
ADHD typically presents in one of three ways. The typical hyperactive impulsive child, the inattentive day dreamer, or a combination of the two. Six features need to be seen in one category to make the diagnosis of predominantly hyperactive impulsive ADHD or predominantly inattentive ADHD, or six features in both categories to make the diagnosis of the mixed hyperactive inattentive type.
To be diagnosed with inattentive ADHD, 6 of these features should be present:
- Makes careless mistakes
- Unable to hold attention on school tasks or when playing games
- Doesn’t seem to listen even when spoken to directly
- Has difficulty finishing work or tasks or chores
- Finds it difficult to be organised
- Is reluctant to participate in activities that demand a lot of mental attention such as school work
- Seems to always lose things
- Very easily distracted
For hyperactive impulsive ADHD, 6 of the following features should be present:
- Fidgets and squirms
- Unable to stay in his seat when being seated is required
- Runs around or climbs when expected to sit still
- Seems unable to play quietly
- Always seems to be ‘on the go’
- Talks excessively
- Blurts our answers, often before the question has even been completed
- Unable to wait his turn
- Often interrupts others
If your child seems to fit this profile and you’ve had these concerns for several months, then you may possibly be dealing with more than just a bored or busy child. Please be in touch with a doctor who has a special interest in this field. A proper diagnosis could make the biggest difference in you and your child’s lives