Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) are chronic psychiatric conditions that affect millions of children, as young as 2-3, up to teens and early adulthood. ADHD/ADD are treated with medicines, but also with behavior modifications and therapy. Although the diagnosis can often present a challenge, early diagnosis and coordinated efforts of home and school can help children live a normal adult life.

Some of the symptoms of ADHD/ADD that children may have can include the following:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention, or following instructions during schoolwork or play
  • Impulsiveness
  • Seems not to be listening
  • Difficulty organizing or following through
  • Low self-esteem
  • Troubled relationships
  • Poor performance in school
  • Forgetful, or often losing books, pencils, toys or materials
  • Easily distracted
  • Excessive talking
  • Difficulty taking turns
  • Disruptive behavior, or
  • Fidgeting, leaving their seat in situations where sitting is expected
  • Running, climbing, or feeling restless

Typically, such behaviors need to be displayed consistently for six months or more, cause problems in relationships with adults or peers, occur both at school and at home or other situations, and cause disruption to normal learning, play or other daily activities.

If you suspect that your child is displaying the characteristics of ADHD/ADD, speak to your child’s teacher about what can be done to screen your child for the disorder, and/or speak to your family doctor.