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Does my 10 year old daughter have ADHD

My 10 year old daughter has been coming home from school lately and telling me she thinks she has ADHD. She has recently moved schools (due to a move on our part) and there are quite a number of children with adhd at her new school who she has been talking to and they have been explaining what having adhd is like. I don't think she has myself, but the more I think about it the more I'm beginning to wonder, she is very hyper at times. Then again, sometimes she's really lazy and only puts a small effort into things. But I don't really know enough about it to judge. She has always been quite hard work compared to other children. For example if we go out, we can spend the whole day doing things keeping her busy, but then she'll still want to know what else we are doing when we get home. She also gets into trouble a lot at school for being disruptive and she's always interrupting conversations. I get phone calls constantly from the school. 
She also tells me that she feels a lot of anger and doesn't know why. 

I'm not sure what to think, I need to know a bit more abut it. Please can someone give me some advice. Thank you.


Tags:

adhd work anger children schools home school adhd daughter



Hi Josie,
ADHD can be tricky to spot in girls and can often go undiagnosed, so if you think there might be a chance she has ADHD speak to your GP and ask for a referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). It's not a quick procedure so start it soon if you're worried, in the meantime, here is a bit more information.

What is ADD and ADHD?
ADHD is a common behavioural disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why.

Children with ADHD act without thinking are hyperactive, impulsive and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details. As most younger children can be like this normally the difference is that the symptoms are present over a longer period of time and occur in different settings. They also impair a child's ability to function socially, academically, and at home.

The good news is that with proper treatment, children with ADHD can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms.ADD is ADHD but without the hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours. However the two terms are often both used whether these behaviours are present or not.
 
What causes ADHD?
ADHD is not caused by poor parenting, too much sugar, or vaccines.
It’s biological origins aren't yet clearly understood. No single cause has been identified, but researchers are exploring a number of possible genetic and environmental links. Studies have shown that many kids with ADHD have a close relative who also has the disorder. Although experts are unsure whether this is a cause of the disorder, they have found that certain areas of the brain are about 5% to 10% smaller in size and activity in kids with ADHD. Chemical changes in the brain also have been found.
Research also links smoking during pregnancy to later ADHD in a child. Other risk factors may include premature delivery, very low birth weight, and injuries to the brain at birth.
Some studies have even suggested a link between excessive early television watching and future attention problems. 

What are the indicators and symptoms? 

Inattention

These are the characteristics which are often displayed.·        
  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in school, schoolwork, or other activates.·        
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention during tasks or play activates.·        
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or jobs they are given. (Not though oppositional behaviour or failure to understand instructions).·        
  • Have difficulty organizing tasks and activities.·        
  • Avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort such as schoolwork and homework.·        
  • Loses things necessary for tasks and activities.·        
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. (Irrelevant things which distract them).·        
  • Forgetful in daily activities. 
Hyperactivity

These are the characteristics which are often displayed.·        

  • Fidgets with hands, feet or squirms in seat.·        
  • Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.·        
  • Runs around or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate.·        
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.·        
  • ‘On the go!’·        
  • Talks excessively.
 Impulsivity

These are the characteristics which are often displayed.·        

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed.·        
  • Has difficulty waiting their turn.·        
  • Interrupts conversations and intrudes into others games. 
Additional diagnostic criteria ·        

  • Some symptoms were present before 7 years of age.·        
  • Some impairment from the symptoms is present in 2 or more settings (e.g. at school and at home).·        
  • Clear evidence of significant impairment in functioning at school or in social settings.·        
  • Symptoms cannot be better explained by another psychiatric disorder. 
What next?

 If you are concerned your child might have ADD/ADHD speak to your GP or health visitor. They will be able to find the right agency to help diagnose and support your child. You can also use the Child Symptom Checklist on the ADHD support website.  

References & Further Reading

Indicators and Symptoms of ADHD and ADD on ADHD Support Internet link: http://www.adhdsupport.com/adhd-diagnostic-criteria.pdfaccessed 15.02.12.Accessed 15.02.12 Child Symptom Checklist on ADHD Supporthttp://www.adhdsupport.com/adhd-symptoms-checklist-child.aspxAccessed 15.02.12 What is ADHD? On KidsHealth.orgInternet link: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.htmlAccessed 15.02.12 Causes of ADHD on KidsHealth.orgInternet link: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.html#Accessed 15.02.12 Disclaimer



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Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.
  • Josie007
  • @2014-02-20 11:42:06
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 24
Thank you for the list, she ticks a lot of these boxes, but I thought this was just kids in general. It was only when my other daughter came along that I realised kids can sit quietly and play with toys and not be hyper and impulsive all the time.

I would love to hear from anyone who has a daughter who has ADHD to hear what she is like. 
  • judybart
  • @2014-02-21 13:23:50
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 63

She may have ADHD or she could just be thrown by the house and school move and desperately want to be the same as her new school-mates. She does sound quite angry and this is a typical response to a move, not just because it means adjusting to new people and places but quite often the fact that it occupies the adults in her life and means she is getting less attention can lead to children finding other ways to get the attention, even negative ones and it sounds as if this is also happening at school. 

I would urge you to notice good behaviour, notice when she's occupying herself well, paying attention to what you say to her and being calm. When we notice and pay attention to what we want to see, this tells them that this is behaviour that gets noticed which is what they want. Children are programmed to be noticed, this keeps them safe. Ignore the bad behaviour and you'll see less of it. 

  • Pamela78
  • @2014-03-12 13:08:07
  • United States
  • Age: 40

The trick with ADHD is that there is, of course, no "test" in the traditional sense. I do know that symptoms have to occur both at home and at school and to have started before the age of 7. So if your daughter can also tick some of the symptoms at home, and you can remember that she has been this way for many years, then it is a possibility.

But it also sounds like there are other things going on...like a move and the age.

Anger is does always part of ADHD, so that tells me that it may be something else.

Technically, only a medical doctor can diagnose it. But it sounds like she could also have depression (the anger, energy shifts)...but I am not a doctor either, just very experienced with teens.

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