The Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Children and Boys
The symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
I Can't Believe My Kid Did That!
By the time my son-was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5, he had already displayed many of the symptoms of a child with ADHD, but I didn't realize then that he had ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) Besides always being on the go, unfocused and defiant, my son got into more things than you could possibly imagine.
I knew children were active but his deeds went far and beyond what I thought should be "normal." By the age of 2 he had already broken his arm- not once but TWICE. The first time he broke his arm it was because he was jumping on the back of the couch, jumped too high, and flipped over the back onto his arm. After a frantic ride out of the mountains to the hospital in Santa Cruz, he was cast and sent home. A few weeks later after we got his cast off we were driving on our way home and I stopped at a store to get something . I was also baby-sitting another active kid that was 9 years old at the time (looking back I think he also had ADHD too). Before I could get out of the car, the 9 year old body slammed himself directly into the path of my sons now uncast arm (my son was in his car seat still) and -CRACK - there went my sons arm again.
So back down to the hospital we went (not even getting home after the first trip to have his cast TAKEN OFF ) - and back to the emergency we went to find out his arm was broken again in the same place (boy you could imagine the looks on the doctors and nurses faces that day- incredulous to say the least)
Broken arm #3 came a couple years later when his little brother pushed him off the bed onto the floor and -CRACK - same arm- broken AGAIN (little brother was also diagnosed with ADHD years later)
So that was a little taste of life with my sons...........
Some more memorable moments (or moments I wish I could forget)- were the time my son climbed unto the ROOF OF THE HOUSE as a 5 year old (mind you the roof had a very- very steep pitch) When I came outside to see him dangling on the roof, I think I must have had a small heart attack that day.
Then there was the time he was racing around in the house, and fell on the edge of the coffee table, requiring several stitches on his cheek (perilously close to his eye) A few weeks later after those stitches came out we had to go back to the emergency room because he fell on-the asphalt while running and opened up another part of this cheek (more stitches). This all before the tender age of 6 or so. Then when he was about 8 or 9 I heard horrendous screaming coming from down the street - I ran down the street to find all of my sons front teeth knocked out on the bumper of a car (no broken bones but his beautiful permanents were now toast) He hadn't been paying attention and crashed his bike headlong into a parked car.
All my son remembers of me that day was me wailing (Your beautiful teeth!!! NOooooo!!!!!!!)
Then there was the day that I watched him cross the street to go to the ice cream truck, only to dart around the front after he got his ice cream and straight into an oncoming car. As I was about to scream the lady put her brakes on, narrowly missing hitting my son in front of me................ the fear I felt that day I will never forget- you figure it's safe enough to watch your kid go across the street, never thinking they will go a different way coming back....
Another day I will never forget was the day trip I took to San Francisco with my parents one day while my son was in school . While enjoying a few hours of much needed peace, I got a frantic phone call from the school that I NEEDED TO COME TO THE SCHOOL RIGHT AWAY. (nothing like a request like that to get your heart racing triple-time) .The school personnel were beside themselves. While serving as a ball monitor, my son had proceeded to stick a fork in an electrical outlet in the ballroom ( what prompts these things I just don't know) Fortunately, he suffered only a small electrical shock but the teachers and the principals were so shook up they thought he should go home right away. (you could see where the tip of the fork was slightly melted)
Whewww.. ( I'm getting tired just remembering all these things)..............
So I think you are getting my drift here - children with ADHD can be a handful. Boys will be boys but boys with ADHD can set any well meaning parents hair to standing on end, on any given day of the week or time.
Although children do get into things and do have accidents, as you can see my son was UNUSUALLY ACTIVE.
This type of behaviour is not uncommon for kids with ADHD. They tend to have very short attention spans, have trouble focusing, trouble sitting still, trouble keeping eye contact, are frequently getting into dangerous situations because they do not think ahead and they have more accidents than most children.
Parents of children with ADHD find themselves sometimes exhausted just trying to keep up with their child- and as all of us parents know- there is NO WAY we can keep an eye on them at all times. We can try but even the best intentioned parents have to go to the bathroom and take showers!
Speaking of which when my sons were small- I was so freaked about them getting into things that when I took a shower I would sometimes have to keep them in the bathroom with me because I was afraid of what they would do for those few minutes. Not only that but when they were starting to climb out of their cribs I had to put those onesy pajamas on them so they couldn't hike their legs over the sides and go running at all hours of the night or day....
Oh yes, and that's reminds me of another astonishing feat my son pulled off at the tender age of 2 when he climbed INTO the stove. (the old-fashioned ones with the pot shelves in them) . He had climbed in their and got stuck- and while pulling him out of the stove he cut his ear (he still has the scar to this day)
So I've been there and done that- again and again. Life with a child with ADHD can be one of the most frustrating, exhausting things you'll ever be called upon as a parent to do ... but if you are dealing with a child with ADHD don't despair, they can and will grow up (my son is now 22)- but it takes a lot of vigilance and patience on behalf of the parents, and a lot of support from your pediatrician, and hopefully a counselor (a good counselor can help you keep your sanity and learn coping skills for dealing with "fires") and in some-in fact most-cases, medication. Although I know some people are adamant against medicine, I am personally a firm believer in using medication for children with severe ADHD.(I don't think my son could have made it through school otherwise) The support of my parents was also critical- although they didn't understand why my sons did the things they did- I was fortunate that they loved my sons unconditionally (thank God for patient parents!)
Below is a helpful link for more information about the symptoms of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and also some useful resources for helping you on your journey with your child (and by the way- on a positive note- most children with ADHD are extremely bright so they can learn how to build on their other strengths!)
(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer who has raised 3 sons with ADHD and lived to tell about it!)
Books on ADHD
Good Information About ADHD
More Information on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
- Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) - Psych Central
Table of Contents: An Introduction to ADHD Symptoms of ADHD Problems Related to ADHD Causes of ADHD How is ADHD diagnosed? Treatment of ADHD Additional ...