How to Recognize ADHD Symptoms Before School Starts

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ADHD has become the catch all term for what is actually three similar disorders, each with different symptoms: inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, and a combination of the two. My 17-year-old son suffers with the inattentive symptoms and the signs were there at least as far back as age of 8.

His doctor has told me that in some children the symptoms are apparent as early as infancy. While I freely admit I was in denial for many years when it came to my son's condition, I honestly don't remember any ADHD concerns during his infant years.

Reading the signals for ADHD can sometimes be difficult because many otherwise healthy children at times will show signs of inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulsiveness. I have a second child who just turned 13 and her mood can change with the weather. On some days she can stay on Facebook or use Skype to talk to her friends for hours, but if I ask her about her chores I get the feeling she spent the five minutes prior to my arrival doing just enough to avoid attention.

I don't have much first-hand experience with hyperactivity, but our family pediatrician says that young children have natural energy highs and lows depending on things like environment, mood and diet.

Signs of hyperactive and impulsive behavior. A child who fidgets or squirms constantly with no discernable change in environment is generally thought to be exhibiting a classic symptom of ADHD. Other signs to watch for are if your child's teacher reports that he or she cannot stay seated during class interaction or has issues waiting for his turn. Children who cannot play quietly or tend to talk excessively may also be exhibiting signs of ADHD.

Some signs and symptoms of inattention. A child who often fails to pay close attention to details or makes the same mistakes over again while doing school work or chores may be showing signs of ADHD. My son has been taking out the trash on Sunday night for seven years, and every Sunday I have to remind him to take the trash out.

Another sign I am all too familiar with is the blank stare. It appears he is not listening even when I speak directly to him. My son is easily distracted and quite forgetful, and both are signs for inattentiveness. Some other signs to look for include problems organizing tasks, not finishing homework or frequently losing school supplies.

Richard Jones is from Solon Ohio and is a former writer for AOL Asylum and TNJ.com.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.