ADD Symptoms in Children

ADD Symptoms in Children

You’re sitting in front of your computer. You type in “add symptoms in children” and you hit “search”… within a few seconds an overwhelming number of resource links stare back at you. Even though the awareness of and resources pertaining to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is definitely on the increase, the idea of diagnosis or official diagnosis can still be overwhelming for some.

A child with ADD has a disorder that pertains to a deficit in attention. It can present in different ways or varying degrees in different children, because certain tasks or routines may be unique to a certain child. ADD also affects school children of any age, as well as adults.

Being able to sustain our attention to everyday tasks and in everyday conversation is a prerequisite skill for many tasks – from being able to start and finish a puzzle to a beading patterning card, to being able to complete more educational activities, such as worksheets and prescribed reading. Our skill in the area of sustained attention helps us to start and finish such activities without “drifting” away from it too often, making the completion of such activities constant, continuous and faster than those who cannot sustain their attention as long.

Sustained attention also affects how much information we are able to take in through our auditory or visual senses – if we have a deficit in being able to sustain our attention to what we are reading or what someone is saying to us (e.g. a teacher teaching in class), we might miss some or lots of valuable information in the process.

The overarching symptoms relating to attention may appear in children, adolescents as well as adults (these symptoms in any combination, however, do not necessarily warrant a diagnoses of ADD – a diagnosis is made by trained professionals).

ADD may appear as…

  • A partial or complete inability to sustain attention when being spoken to
  • A consequential inability to recall what has been said soon after being spoken to
  • Difficulty carrying out a given instruction (different to not understanding the instruction, or an inability to know how to carry out new instructions)
  • Difficulty adhering to a set of tasks/ a routine with many individual steps
  • Difficulty starting and/or finishing a worksheet
  • Difficulty starting and/ or finishing a play activity, e.g. a puzzle
  • Difficulty sustaining attention during a given or chosen play activity
  • A decline in school performance with no clear cause
  • Appearances of “daydreaming” and inattentiveness
  • Sudden shifting in patterns of thoughts and speech
  • Difficulty staying focused on a topic of conversation with peers and adults
  • Difficulty sustaining attention to reading activities

Once a diagnosis is made, there are several strategies that can be applied to overcome any deficits in attention – one such strategy focuses on helping a child increase the time for which they can sustain their attention to various tasks. As ADD is characterised by many symptoms that are treatable, we can, with the right support, tools, techniques and practice, lessen or diminish the effects of these symptoms. Catch Up Kids and its team of trained experts can help to relieve ADD symptoms in children.