ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects how the brain functions and, therefore, behaviour.
There are many intricacies beyond attention deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which is why ADHD is such a misunderstood condition. Many parents and teachers misinterpret these behaviours as children/teens being intentionally difficult and their misled reactions can have a knock-on effect on young people during their early development.
The exact cause of ADHD is not clear, but there seems to be a genetic component whereby there is a higher risk if a parent or family member has it too.
ADHD Symptoms in Childhood & Teen Years
The signs and symptoms of ADHD generally divide into three components: attention deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, not every patient will be affected by all three. Some children will display one in the majority, while others will have combined symptoms.
The symptoms and behaviours usually present fairly early in a child’s development — generally before 12 years of age.
These include (but are not limited to):
Difficulties with focus or sustaining attention in school tasks or play activities
Makes careless mistakes or lacks attention to detail in schoolwork or activities
Avoids or shows a dislike for tasks that require sustained mental effort (like homework, studying, or schoolwork)
Easily distracted, even by unrelated stimuli, and often fails to follow through on instructions or finish tasks
Loses items needed for tasks or activities (toys, books, pencils, school assignments, etc.)
Often leaves seat in the classroom or runs and climbs excessively in situations where it would be inappropriate (presenting as feelings of restlessness in teens)
Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
Difficulty with self-control and waiting their turn
Interrupts or blurts out answers before questions have been completed
Most adolescents with ADHD will have exhibited some of these behaviours when they were younger. If undiagnosed, this can lead to further feelings of frustration and failure when their academic demands and need for independence begin to grow too. This, in turn, can have a profound psychological effect on teenagers, even impacting their future aspirations.
Common Misconceptions Around ADHD Symptoms & Diagnoses
While the above list of symptoms is not a complete list, it is easy to see how certain behaviours are brushed aside as kids just being kids.
However, symptoms of ADHD in children can often be confused with behavioural issues, mood disorders, dyslexia, or even conduct disorder. Therefore, the correct assessment and diagnosis are vital. For this to be accurate, symptoms will need to have been reported within different environments (such as school and home, and at the medical examination).
Boys are typically diagnosed with ADHD more so than girls, according to some studies, although this could just be because caregivers pick up on hyperactive-impulsive behaviours more easily than inattentive ones. Girls often exhibit more internalised symptoms like inattentiveness, whereas boys typically exhibit more externalised symptoms like impulsivity.
If these symptoms and behaviours are ringing bells, a private ADHD child assessment could give your family the answers you need.
Contact Diverse Diagnostics to book a child ADHD diagnosis at our private clinic.
The Importance of Diagnosing ADHD
When ADHD is not treated, there are a number of risks that can affect a child or teen on an emotional, social, psychological, and education level. Some of these include:
Low education attainment
Bad sleep patterns
Mood disorders (such as anxiety disorder or depression)
Difficulties with relationships and social skills
Increased risk of substance abuse
For this reason, being diagnosed with ADHD can be positively life changing. With the proper ADHD assessments and a GP/Consultant Report, the patient and their family can work together to take action and create a better quality of life.
Diverse Diagnostics’ thorough evaluation and private diagnosis of ADHD will help deliver the appropriate support with the possibility of medical treatment. With our extensive experience working with children with ADHD throughout Scotland, our specialist doctors can provide you with the right diagnosis and treatment advice.
If you think your child is affected by ADHD, contact Diverse Diagnostics to learn more about our private children’s ADHD assessment services.