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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or more commonly called ADHD, is defined as continuous behaviors such as inattentiveness, over-activity, and impulsivity. ADHD has become one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood behavior disorders. If you suspect that your child may be exhibiting signs of ADHD, create a journal or diary listing all your concerns. Then begin to record the specific behavior, date, and time when the behaviors occurred. Also, note what he was doing before and after the specific incident. You will then have an accurate account of your child’s daily activities, behaviors, and responses to various situations.

Symptoms to Record for Inattentiveness

  • Lack of Attention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive Behavior
  • Failure to recognize details or makes careless mistakes with class/homework
  • Difficult time keeping attention on tasks or play activities
  • Appears to not listen when being directly spoken to
  • Has a difficult time following instructions
  • Fails to complete schoolwork, homework, or chores
  • Avoids tasks which require long periods of attention
  • Has a difficult time being organized
  • Often loses things
  • Easily distracted

Symptoms to Record for Hyperactivity

  • Fidgets hands or feet
  • Has a difficult time remaining seated in a seat
  • Runs or climbs in situations that are not appropriate
  • Difficulty playing quietly
  • Appears to be “driven by an invisible battery”
  • Talks excessively
  • Volunteers answers or information before a request or question is presented
  • Difficulty waiting his turn
  • Interrupts in conversations or activities

Children should exhibit at least six of these symptoms over a period of at least six months. When recording, be sure to observe the behaviors in separate settings such as playtime, the dinner table, and while completing homework. It is difficult to diagnose a very young child. If you have concerns first speak with your pediatrician and share your recorded information. He can make a referral if needed for further assessments to determine how to best help your child.

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