If your child is having problems academically or socially at school, it might be that a condition is impeding their ability to progress. Attention deficit disorder, or ADD, is a common diagnosis in children that can make school and home environments more challenging.
Getting an early diagnosis helps children with ADD get the treatment they need early, so they can learn coping skills and find success. If your child has any of these warning signs of ADD, board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, from Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, recommends your child get a full ADD consultation to determine if they have ADD.
What is ADD?
ADD is a common condition that makes it more difficult for children to concentrate and focus. Unlike the related condition, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), these children don’t usually have clinically significant challenges with impulsivity or hyperactivity.
Symptoms of ADD can emerge at any age, but it’s most common to start observing them during the early school years, before age 12. Without intervention and treatment, children with ADD can have problems completing homework, learning, staying organized at home and school, and with social relationships.
Over time, children with ADD that haven’t received support are at higher risk for developing mental health problems like anxiety or depression.
Warning signs of ADD in children
According to Dr. Valencia, these are some of the most common symptoms that can indicate your child has undiagnosed ADD.
Your child with ADD might have difficulty completing tasks, like their homework assignments and assigned chores. They can have trouble prioritizing which tasks are most important, which makes it hard to get started and complete a to-do list.
These children often have desks, lockers, or bedrooms that appear disorganized. They can have trouble keeping track of their belongings and schedules, and might find themselves losing things and being late to class.
Inattention and lack of focus
A child who has ADD might seem like they aren’t interested in paying attention in class or other activities. They’re often prone to daydreaming during structured activities, being easily distracted by external stimuli, and seeming disinterested or bored.
Children with ADD often forget to complete or attend to tasks or activities because of their disorganization. This can lead to forgetting to turn in homework assignments, go to activities, and turning in schoolwork they haven’t finished.
Social skills challenges
Some children with ADD also have trouble with social interactions. This can include difficulty focusing on conversations, remaining on topic when they talk, and paying attention to social rules.
What to do if your child displays ADD symptoms
When your child has ADD symptoms, our team at Valencia Pediatrics can evaluate them at an ADD/ADHD consultation. At your child’s consultation, Dr. Valencia discusses your concerns, reviews your child’s full history, and observes and evaluates your child. She also ensures your child’s symptoms don’t have a different cause.
Once your child has been diagnosed with ADD, Dr. Valencia, with Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, develops and implements a plan to treat your child’s symptoms. This plan can include talk and behavioral therapies, coordinating with your child’s school and activities, and medications.
With treatment, our team can help you and your child manage their ADD and succeed at school and at home. To schedule your child’s ADD consultation, call Valencia Pediatrics today.