October is National ADHD Awareness month, a time to educate people on what ADHD is and isn't, what the signs and symptoms are, how to diagnose and support, and most importantly, help dispel misinformation. According to the Child Mind Institute, "Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, orADHD, is a condition that makes it unusually difficult for children to concentrate, sit still, follow directions and control impulsive behavior."
ADHD can impact a child's daily life, especially in school. Oftentimes, children will begin to show signs and symptoms of ADHD before an official diagnosis. Therefore, we've put together common ways ADHD presents in the classroom.
Symptoms and signs of ADHD in the classroom will typically fall into two categories: inattentive and impulsive.
Inattentive Classroom Symptoms:
- Messy and incomplete work
- Misplacing personal items and school materials
- Easily distracted
- Difficulty listening and following through with instructions
- Trouble with endurance
- Avoiding longer and more challenging tasks
- Difficulty staying in seat/area
- Excessive chatting
- Interrupting of adults and peers
- Disregarding others' personal belongings or private conversations
- Fidgeting/picking at items
- Constantly "on the go"
- Running or climbing inappropriately
It is also important to understand that there can be gender differences when it comes to the presentation of ADHD in the classroom. Oftentimes, girls' symptoms are more subtle and their behaviors can be mislabeled as behaviors such as "overly emotional" or "bossy".
There are also other conditions such as anxiety and learning differences which can present with symptoms similar to ADHD. For more information on what ADHD is and isn't, visit our previous blog.
Ultimately, having a proper evaluation and diagnosis is the first step in figuring out what is going on with a child and starting down the path of help and support. If you would like more information on what an evaluation involves and what support can be provided, reach out to us.