What Is ADHD and How Is It Diagnosed?

Did you know that creativity and entrepreneurship are some of the niches that children diagnosed with ADHD can excel at during their adulthood?

Learning differences like ADHD are coming into the spotlight for their hidden potential to help change the way the world thinks.

Do you suspect that your child has ADHD and are curious about how ADHD is diagnosed? Read our article to learn more about this neurobehavioral learning difference.

What Is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects the behavior of many children and can linger into their adult life. ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

The name of this neurobehavioral learning difference is enough to tell you the signs of ADHD. Children who are diagnosed with ADHD can have a difficult time concentrating, sitting still, and paying attention.

Although ADHD can become the source of significant learning difficulties, integrating support systems early on can help children with this disorder complete schoolwork and even thrive academically.

The Types of ADHD

Children who share the neurobehavioral traits of ADHD can all express their learning difference in various ways. Out of these varieties, most children fall into the following three categories:

  • Hyperactive
  • Inattentive
  • Combined

It is important to remember that, like every disorder, ADHD is a spectrum of behaviors. Despite popular schools of thought, children who appear inattentive and unfocused can also be diagnosed with this hyperactive disorder.

Some children can fall into the “combined” category, where they may have both hyperactive and inattentive episodes.

Every type of child diagnosed with ADHD can have a difficult time cultivating meaningful relationships. This can ultimately affect their schoolwork and quality of life as well.

How Does ADHD Affect a Child?

ADHD can affect the life of a child in many ways. At school, children with this learning difference can find it difficult to focus on the teacher’s instructions, perform poorly on examinations, and struggle to make friends.

At home, a child can seem uninterested in family activities and be reluctant to complete homework assignments. Children with ADHD can be both extroverted and introverted, depending on the day.

Severe ADHD episodes can impact children emotionally as well as mentally. Since they are neurodivergent, some children can have a difficult time relating to others.

ehs-adhd peak

Potential Causes of ADHD

Scientists are still unsure of how ADHD develops in a child’s brain. One thing is certain: ADHD can continue into adulthood and continue to be an apparent learning difference.

The most common theories regard ADHD as being inherited from a close relative with a similar learning difference. Early births and early exposure to toxins while in the womb are also noted to be probable causes.

Regardless of the cause, children who grow up with ADHD can excel in adolescence and beyond.

How to Get an ADHD Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis for your child doesn't have to be a stressful or complicated occasion. Begin by taking your child to their primary care physician or pediatrician.

Your doctor will rule out other possible causes before proceeding with basic testing scenarios for an ADHD diagnosis. Be sure to come prepared with your child’s recent medical history and classroom behavior notes.

A pediatrician will then use their DSM-V resource to help guide them through the diagnosis. DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. After a diagnosis, you can create an effective treatment plan.

Common Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD manifests in every child differently. However, there are some common symptoms that you should be aware of.

If your child frequently expresses any of the following traits, then consider getting them screened for ADHD:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Unable to focus
  • Turbulent emotions
  • Inattentive

These are general symptoms and should not be taken as the only signs of ADHD. A pediatrician can perform a thorough mental and physical examination to help you better understand your child’s needs.

Learning Environments for ADHD

Some children who are diagnosed with ADHD are very particular about where they can focus.

Traditional school environments, for example, don’t allow neurodivergent children to express themselves in ways that are healthy for their needs.

Learning environments that cater to the needs of neurobehavioral disorders are sensitive to their learning difference and do their best to facilitate community and sustainable methods of communication.

Supporting Learning Differences

Once your child receives an ADHD diagnosis, they might require specialized support. Getting to know the symptoms that affect your child will help you and your educational team develop a specialized learning plan.

Being able to work as a part of a team might be one of the hardest tasks for a child diagnosed with ADHD.

Be as encouraging as possible when it comes to their unique ways of doing things. Your support is the biggest tool for their success.

ADHD: What Parents Should Know

Each child can express ADHD symptoms in their own unique way. Although the road to a diagnosis might seem difficult, once you are there, a new world of resources opens up to you.

There are a variety of physical, psychological, and medicinal treatment options that are available for your child.

Work closely with your child's education team to curate a plan that supports their learning difference and helps bring out their fullest potential!

How Is ADHD Diagnosed?

Now you know all about what ADHD is, its associated symptoms, and how it can affect your child. So, how is ADHD diagnosed? As you now know, your child’s pediatrician will review both their medical and educational history.

This information, coupled with in-person examinations, can culminate in an ADHD neurobehavioral diagnosis. Our school is dedicated to serving children with this type of learning difference.

If your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, sign up for an Eagle Hill School virtual open house. Here your child will have all of the resources they need to thrive! Contact our staff today to give your child a brighter future.

Topics: Learning Differences, ADHD