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Does your child seem to be constantly moving and never slow down? Are they having frequent issues paying attention in school?
This was my child and after switching between three pediatricians and finally getting referred to a child psychologist, we got answers. Our daughter has ADHD or (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Aubrey has also been diagnosed with other behavior conditions that contribute to some of her symptoms but ADHD was her first-ever diagnosis.
*I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. All of my opinions are my own and describe my experience of the journey my family has gone through to find out my daughter had ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Please do not consider the symptoms below as a diagnosis but a guide to talking with your doctor about.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
What are the First Signs of a child with ADHD?
Let me start from the beginning.
It all started when Aubrey was only 2 years old and we began to notice that she would have a hard time calming down even at bedtime. She started becoming more and more difficult to get to bed and even had horrible meltdowns that would last for hours. (And no I am not exaggerating)
Even trying to reason with her and offer her what she wanted for going to bed did not work. It seemed like she could not focus and could not understand cause and effect during her meltdowns. This lasted for years and even still happens sometimes now that she is almost 7 years old.
However, even when I would ask other family members and her pediatrician, they told me it was normal and their kids had the same tantrums. My husband and I suffered alone and felt as if no one believed us. It was depressing.
When I found out I was pregnant with our second child just a year later, I noticed that the behaviors got much worse. She began running away from us out in public, tearing paint off of her door, and even pulling handfuls of hair out during her tantrums. It was overwhelming and still, we couldn’t figure out what to do.
Steps to Getting Our Child Help
After talking with her pediatrician again, his reply was simply that there was nothing he could do until she was 5 or 6 years old. And for Aubrey that was two to three years away. I couldn’t imagine going through all of this any longer.
We were also concerned since I was about to have another child. But we just continued to go about our daily lives and our son was born that winter just before Aubrey’s 4th birthday.
Finally, we decided to switch to a different pediatrician and search for help elsewhere. And since we weren’t very happy with the second pediatrician we took Aubrey to since he also would not give us any advice as far as how to handle her behavior.
We Finally found Support for our Daughter
In January of 2016, I was on my way to sell something to another mom who I had met through a Facebook buy and sell baby group and had agreed to meet her in town for the exchange.
After arriving, Aubrey got out of her car seat (she was able to undo her 5-point harness) jumped out of our car trying to run in the parking lot. I was able to grab her but getting her back into the car was horribly draining.
It was then that the other mom that I was meeting recommended a really good pediatrician that had helped her daughter that was younger than Aubrey. She told me about how he taught her different ways to help deal with her daughter’s behavior and even therapy that was recommended.
As I was standing there listening to this sweet woman and trying desperately to get my flailing child back into her seat belt, I finally burst into tears. I knew that finally after this mom had seen how Aubrey was acting, I wasn’t going crazy.
Something wasn’t right with my kid and someone else validated it and wanted to help.
The day of our appointment with this new pediatrician came and the moment I walked into the office, I felt at peace. The atmosphere was amazing and the staff even seemed to be understanding about how my child was becoming impatient. Once we were called back the nurse was listening to what I had to say and didn’t look at me like I was crazy (this was huge for me). She also wasn’t surprised by how Aubrey did not like to be touch very much and seemed very destructive. It was as if she had seen it every day.
Meeting the pediatrician was the best part of the entire visit. He listened and also didn’t make me feel rushed as many other doctors have done in the past. He also noticed Aubrey pulling my hair and pinching me and was able to give me advice on how to fix her behavior right away (which no one had done before. The had all dismissed it before).
ADHD Evaluation for our Child
A few short months later, we were seen by a child psychiatrist and Aubrey was diagnosed with ADHD or (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
It was the answer to our question that we had been asking for years. We finally were given support and things finally turned around. Of course, we still have our challenges but having an idea of how to handle our child made all the difference in our family.
Does this sound like your child? Here are 10 ADHD Symptoms in Children
1. Frequent Interrupting
Does your child frequently interrupt you when you are talking? If so does it seem as if they can’t help themselves? Frequent interruptions can be a part of childhood ADHD.
2. Difficulty Waiting their Turn
Does your child have trouble waiting for their turn in line? Do they skip ahead or jump in front of others to be in front?
3. Constantly in Motion
Is your child constantly on the move without ever slowing down? Do they resist relaxation and calming down for bedtime?
4. Trouble Playing Quietly
Can your child play quietly without disturbing others? Do they have a hard time keeping to themselves?
5. Difficulty Completing Tasks before Starting New Ones
Does your child start a project and then move onto another project before finishing the first one? Do they have trouble finishing tasks?
6. Lack of Focus
Does your child lose focus or seem dazed or distant? Do you feel like they are never listening even when you are talking directly to them?
7. Frequent Fidgeting
Does your child fidget or move constantly in their seat? Do they bounce their knee or seem to always be doing something with their hands?
8. Often Making Careless Mistakes
Does your child make careless mistakes often such as throwing away dishes when they are supposed to go in the sink?
9. Often Losing or Misplacing Items
Does your child seem to lose or misplace toys or other items on a regular basis?
10. Frequent Talking or Outbursts
Have you noticed your child blurting out answers to questions before they are finished being told? Is your child talking constantly without stopping?
How Do I Get My Child tested for ADHD?
If any of these signs sound like your child, talk with your pediatrician about your concerns and also try to document as much as you can about any symptoms you have observed.
Your doctor is the best person to evaluate if your child has ADHD or not and will likely want to do further testing. If your child is found to have ADHD your doctor will then talk with you about how to begin treatment.