It is reported that 1 in11 school aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It is also considered one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. Children with the disorder have been known to have issues paying attention; instances of acting in a rash manner without fully considering repercussions of their actions and some may have experienced hyperactivity as well.
It is not rare for small children to display a certain degree of concentration challenges and or hyperactivity. However, if it becomes noticeable to the point that teachers and parents become concerned about the behavior there could be an issue that needs further examination. This is why parents should take note at an early age of the warning signs that can happen at an earlier age than originally though. Early diagnosis in any disorder is always the best for all involved and ADHD is no different.
The goal of catching ADHD at the earliest possible age could be instrumental in minimizing or even eliminating learning disabilities that could be a result of the disorder. Early diagnosis could in fact be the difference between failure and success of a child.
There was recent study, which analyzed the brain of preschool children that had symptoms of ADHD, and it was found that the children with ADHD displayed different brain patterns than those without the disorder. It was show that children with ADHD have a smaller caudate nucleus, which is related to the functioning of cognitive and motor control. Children that do not exhibit signs of ADHD did not display any markers in this area of the brain.
Parents should observe their child for symptoms that could indicate ADHD and contact their pediatrician if they believe their child is experiencing symptoms that are associated with ADHD.
Take a look at the ten symptoms below that you should be aware of in your preschooler.
1. Dislikes or avoids activities that require paying attention for more than one or two minutes
2. Loses interest and starts doing something else after engaging in an activity for a few moments
3. Talks a lot more and makes more noise than other children of the same age
4. Climbs on things when instructed not to do so
5. Cannot hop on one foot by age 4
6. Nearly always restless – wants to constantly kick or jiggle feet or twist around in his/her seat. Insists that he/she “must” get up after being seated for more than a few minutes
7. Gets into dangerous situations because of fearlessness
8. Warms up too quickly to strangers
9. Frequently aggressive with playmates; has been removed from preschool/daycare for aggression
10. Has been injured (e.g., received stitches) because of moving too fast or running when instructed not to do so.
There are a variety of options available for children that have been diagnosed with ADHD but the most important thing for the future well being of the child is to get diagnosed as early as possible. A part of this, is knowing the symptoms to be aware of, and the ten steps above provide an idea of what things you need to notice as a parent or caregiver.
- Rate of Parent-Reported ADHD Increasing: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/features/adhd-parent-reporting.html
- Is it ADHD or typical Toddler Behavior? Ten early signs of ADHD Risk in Preschool Age Children. www.kennedykrieger.org.
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