ADHD is a disorder that affects millions of children and adults. While most people associate the disorder with the inability to pay attention or concentrate on one thing at a time, there are many other symptoms that can be observed as well. The sooner a child or adult is diagnosed with the disorder, the sooner they can seek help.
38-year-old Andrea Frank knows all too well the effects of a late diagnosis. As a young child, she had a hard time concentrating and was held back in school. She continued to struggle as she grew older but it was not until she had children of her own who were experiencing the same problems, that she consulted a doctor.
The doctor diagnosed Andrea and her sons with ADHD. Andrea said that finally having a diagnosis and reason for her behavior has helped her cope and made her a better person.
“That diagnosis changed my life,” Frank said. “It made me feel like a person, like I could finally explain the way I am and have it make sense.”
Many adults who are not diagnosed with ADHD as children continue to show symptoms as they age. Many have a hard time securing a job or focusing on daily tasks. Some children outgrow ADHD, but many do not. ADHD affects 9 percent of children younger than 18 and about 4.1 percent of American adults.
Only a doctor can diagnose the disorder but there are symptoms that you can watch for that can help you decide if you or your child needs to see a doctor about the possible disorder. Here are a few symptoms to watch for:
If you notice that you or your child is having a hard time paying attention, it could be a sign of ADHD. You may notice that you or your child have a hard time paying attention to details or make careless mistakes as well.
Another common symptom of ADHD is becoming easily distracted. You or your child may find it hard to stay on task because you are so distracted by small things. You may also forget what you are doing after being distracted for a short time.
Do you have a messy desk at work or is your child's room constantly a wreck because they cannot concentrate long enough to clean it up. This is one of the more common ADHD symptoms. Almost every kid has a messy room and if you are busy at work it can be easy to let your desk go for a few days but if the problems come from attempting to clean or reorganize things, the problem could be ADHD.
If you or someone you know has the symptoms of ADHD it is important to see a doctor for help. The good news is that the disorder is treatable and those who get the treatment they need often improve quickly and go on to lead normal lives.
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