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When children have trouble focusing in school and are also disorganized, many teachers and parents jump to the conclusion that a child has an attention-deficit disorder (ADD). When a student is also overly active and disruptive, the child’s deficit disorder morphs to attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
But diagnosing ADD or ADHD is not an exact science. There are no biological tests. Instead, the traits that make up ADD or ADHD are personality characteristics. When eight or more of the following statements accurately describe a child prior to age 7, there may be a reason to suspect ADD or ADHD, and you should talk to your child’s doctor.
1. Fidgets, squirms, or seems restless.
2. Has difficulty remaining seated.
3. Is easily distracted.
4. Has difficulty awaiting his or her turn.
5. Blurts out answers.
6. Has difficulty following instructions.
7. Has difficulty sustaining attention.
8. Shifts from one uncompleted task to another.
9. Has difficulty playing quietly.
10. Talks excessively.
11. Interrupts or intrudes on others.
12. Does not seem to listen.
13. Often loses things necessary for tasks.
14. Frequently engages in dangerous actions.
Remember, ADD and ADHD are often hereditary. So, when examining this list, consider if you or other family members have eight or more of these traits.
For more information, go to dearteacher.com and enter the keyword ADD or ADHD. Also, visit the National Attention Deficit Organization (add.org), Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (chadd.org), and Additude magazine (additudemag.com). If your child is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, your school should be able to provide the support needed to improve studies.