Symptoms of ADHD typically arise or become
apparent when the child enters into a more structured educational setting. The first
sign is often times hyperactivity. That is particularly true for children who are showing more
of the hyperactive and impulsive subtypes. So they are just going to show a lot of behavior.
They simply behave too much. A lot of verbal and motor behavior and that’s noted in the
child’s difficulties with stopping and thinking with waiting their turn, interrupting.
For individuals with the inattentive type of ADHD that is not associated with impulsivity,
then we are going to see those symptoms become apparent later in middle to late childhood.
They are going to struggle with resisting distractions. They are going to have a hard
time with following through on tasks independently, remembering to follow through on tasks without
reminders. So for children that are showing the more hyperactive
and impulsive behavior, then I would expect those symptoms to arise earlier in early childhood
probably just as soon as they start to enter into a more structured educational setting.
When those task demands become more challenging, they can arise as early as preschool or kindergarten.
So specifically for that inattentive subtype of ADHD sometimes the impairment doesn’t
show up until later when expectations to work independently, follow through on assignments,
remember, and be organized become more difficult.
I think one of the common mistakes that all of us make is we kind of blame the child.
We make the child wrong because their behavior is very frustrating for us. And so we are
using a lot of corrections and a lot of punishment. We’re talking to them a lot about their
behavior and really when you are dealing with behavior in general but specifically for
kids with ADHD talking to them is probably going to worsen their behavior and using high
rates of punishment and corrections is probably just going to cause more frustration. So the
best thing to be doing to start off with, your foundation is really catch your child
being good. have very high rates of praise and positive interactions.