Before you can treat a child or adult suffering from a learning disability such as attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is important to recognize the symptoms. Everyone experiences moments of irritability and lack of focus but when those moments become more frequent and sever it can be a sign that someone is suffering from ADD or ADHD. Knowing what the symptoms are and how to spot the signs is a crucial first step in diagnosing the disorder and getting the right treatment for the child or adult.
While it is not uncommon for adults to experience ADD it is more likely that the symptoms will be noticed in a child. The problem with detecting ADD in adults is that over time the adult has probably developed mechanisms for coping with their disorder while a child is not clever enough to mask their lack of focus, hyperactivity and difficulty remembering. Parents and teachers who have young kids will have a better chance of spotting symptoms of ADD in a child and need to know what to look for so they can differentiate what is natural behavior for a child and the early signs of ADD.
Children with ADD aren't incapable of paying attention they just lose interest very quickly unless the topic appeals to them. However, in time we all have to deal with things we may not be thrilled about and the child that can't learn this may start to demonstrate signs of ADD. If in class or at home a child won't pay attention to details, consistently makes careless mistakes, can't focus or complete tasks, is often disorganized and losing interest in a project before it is finished that child may have ADD. Again, every child will experience such reactions to specific tasks but when the symptoms become consistent and more sever it is time to consider having a child tested for ADD.
It is also important to remember that other factors may be causing a child to act impulsively or to lose attention quickly. Medical condition, psychological disorders and events in the child's life which are stressful such as parents getting divorced or recently moving to a new town can cause any kid to behave in unusual ways and it is important to take this into account when diagnosing a child with ADD.
ADD is often mistaken for ADHD and it is important to know the difference between the symptoms of both disorders. ADHD has the same symptoms of ADD including inattention and impulsive behavior with the added symptom of hyperactivity. While a child with ADD may appear bored and uninterested, the child with ADHD will also be fidgety, unable to sit still, constantly disruptive and unable to wait his turn. Knowing the difference between ADD and ADHD can be a big help for teachers and doctors who are trying to help a child suffering from one or the other.
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