ADHD Awareness Month: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
Every October is ADHD Awareness Month, when we come together to celebrate advancements in ADHD advocacy and education. As better ADHD awareness spreads, people of all ages can get a diagnosis and treatment with accurate information and support.
It is estimated that 6.1 million children in the U.S. have ADHD. However, the amount of misinformation and stigma associated with this condition is high. Furthermore, there are people with ADHD who never receive a proper diagnosis, despite constantly dealing with issues that are symptoms of their disorder. That’s why, during ADHD Awareness month, it’s important to take the time to learn a little more about this condition and how to recognize the signs that your child may have ADHD.
What Is ADHD and How Is It Treated?
There are several subtypes of ADHD, but healthcare providers primarily diagnose patients with one of three main types of ADHD, which include the following.
- Hyperactive Type ADHD: If a person has hyperactive ADHD, they find it impossible to sit still. These people frequently squirm, fidget, and struggle to stay seated. Children with hyperactive ADHD might talk excessively and struggle with impulse control. Men and children are often diagnosed with this form of ADHD.
- Inattentive Type ADHD: People with inattentive ADHD often appear to have their "heads in the clouds." They often make careless mistakes because staying organized, paying attention, or following detailed instructions is challenging. In the past, inattentive ADHD was referred to as ADD. Adults and girls are most likely to be diagnosed with inattentive ADHD.
- Combined Type ADHD: When a person has combined-type ADHD, they display symptoms of both hyperactive ADHD and inattentive ADHD.
The most common misconception about ADHD is that it is not a real disorder. However, an expansive body of research concludes that when a person has ADHD, their brain functions differently. Although people cannot necessarily cure their symptoms, they can learn to manage them over time.
If you or someone you love has ADHD, it's essential to recognize the signs of this disorder and create a treatment plan. While some people choose therapy and alternative medicine approaches to treating ADHD, stimulant medication is one of the most effective ways to manage ADHD symptoms. Stimulant medication has been proven to reduce ADHD symptoms in 70% of adults and 70% to 80% of children shortly after starting treatment.
Many people with ADHD are discouraged from taking stimulant medication because it is known to have addictive qualities. But people with ADHD who take the proper stimulant medication at the right dosage experienced a 60% reduction in substance use disorders. In fact, they generally manage their symptoms better than those who do not take any substance.
However, since these stimulant medications can be addictive for people that do not have ADHD, it's crucial to keep pills in a safe place that is out of reach of others. Keeping your medication in a locking cabinet or drawer can be one beneficial step, but the most reliable option to protect your medications is with a secure Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottle. Complete with a unique four-digit pin, these specially designed containers ensure that no one can obtain unauthorized access to your ADHD medication, no matter where it’s stored.
Common Signs That Your Child May Have ADHD
As a parent, it's only natural that you want your child to succeed. Fortunately, recognizing the signs of ADHD early and enacting a treatment plan can reduce any negative impact of ADHD as your child grows into adulthood. Specifically, here are symptoms to watch out for.
Inability to Focus and Hyperfocus
Not all attention issues are directly related to ADHD, particularly if children find the task at hand to be boring. But chronic inattention may be a sign of something deeper. Your child may state that their mind wanders off, or you may realize that they frequently drift off to another activity that they find more interesting.
Inversely, one little-known symptom of ADHD is hyperfocus. When a person with ADHD is hyperfocused, they will become completely absorbed in their activity until they lose all sense of time and ignore other responsibilities. For instance, a child with ADHD may find it impossible to stay on task regarding schoolwork but become immersed in sports, video games, or reading.
Most children are playful and rambunctious with plenty of energy, but if your child has ADHD, they may be significantly more active than their peers. Children with ADHD may find it impossible to sit still during school or at meals. In many cases, this hyperactivity manifests as uncontrollable fidgeting and squirming. Even when your child sits down, they might constantly tap a pencil against their desk or bounce their leg. It is also common for children with ADHD to make noise, such as mumbling or humming at inappropriate times.
Emotional Outbursts and Defiance
Neurotypical people often take note of the cognitive symptoms of ADHD, such as distractibility or organizational issues. However, they may fail to recognize that these symptoms often arise because children with ADHD struggle to self-regulate their emotions. Studies show that up to 73% of people with ADHD displayed emotional dysregulation as a symptom. This may be tied to hyperfocus, which can also apply to emotions. Hyperfocus on emotions can cause intense ups and downs, as children with ADHD are unable to move past whatever has triggered their reaction.
Children are still learning to process their emotions, so it's normal for them to cry or have temper tantrums if they don't get their way. But if your child has emotional outbursts that exceed their peers' intensity, it could be a symptom of ADHD. For instance, your child may become inconsolable during a tearful bout of sadness. Furthermore, children with ADHD are more likely to become defiant, argue, or engage in power struggles when faced with challenging tasks like homework and chores.
Poor Sense of Time
People with ADHD lack the executive functioning that comes naturally to neurotypical people. As a result, a child with ADHD may lose track of time or have challenges completing tasks on schedule. People with ADHD have a sense of "time blindness," which is directly related to their propensity towards hyper-focusing on specific tasks. However, with the proper support and treatment, parents can help children manage their ADHD symptoms more effectively for a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Partner with Safe Rx for ADHD Awareness Month
During ADHD Awareness Month, we join together to reduce the stigma associated with ADHD. This includes practicing responsible treatment, such as managing ADHD medications. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or another caregiver, keeping medications safe, secure, and out-of-reach is the first step to keeping others safe from misuse.
At Safe Rx, we’re dedicated to supporting medication safety to prevent misuse and accidental overdoses. That’s why Safe Rx Locking Pill Bottles allow you to protect your prescription medications and other pills or supplements with a secure 4-digit code.If you’re interested in learning more about how Safe Rx can assist in medication safety and childcare, contact us today.