The signs of Attention Deficit Disorder may or may not be incredibly apparent. Because of the intricacies of this disorder and the variations from child to child, diagnosis may prove to be a difficult process.
The first step is understanding that hyperactivity is not synonymous with Attention Deficit Disorder. While a child may exhibit an increased level of activity with this disorder, it is not an inherent factor of ADD.
On the other hand, there are certain characteristics that are prevalent in a child with ADD, such as inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and being easily distracted.
Inattentiveness and distractibility go hand and hand. A child with ADD may have a difficult time staying on task, completing activities, and paying attention to details. While these may seem common traits among children, an ADD child will exhibit extreme behavior more so than children of the same age. They must also exhibit these behaviors for extended periods of time, more than six months, and the behavior must significantly hinder a childs ability to function in day to day activities.
Impulsiveness also is a common trait among children with ADD. Often paired with hyperactivity, a child may suddenly bolt from their chair to observe what is taking place across the classroom. On the other hand, a child may also exhibit impulsive behavior that does not show signs of hyperactivity, such as blurting out answers in a classroom setting.
Children with Attention Deficit Disorder seem to be wired in to everything that is happening around them. In some ways, they are hypersensitive to their surroundings and can not concentrate with typical distractions. While they do not have difficulties learning, they may very likely rank poor academically because of their inability to stay on task and complete assignments.
Boys and girls tend to behave differently with ADD. While both genders will typically be hypersensitive to sight, sounds, and physical stimuli, boys tend to be more hyperactive and girls more inattentive. They also both seem to become unmanageable and unruly with overstimulation, sometimes to the point of aggressiveness and abusiveness. This is of particular importance to parents of a child with ADD, as these prove to be more difficult times of control.
It is important, however, to understand that all children are different. No two children will behave exactly the same in any given circumstance. Just because your child behaves more aggressively than other children, does not necessarily mean they have ADD. Diagnosis from a physician or specialist is necessary to determine if Attention Deficit Disorder is present.