Does My Child Have ADHD? How to Identify ADHD in Children

Does My Child Have ADHD? How to Identify ADHD in Children

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common reasons students struggle in school, and the virtual learning environment can make school even more difficult for children with ADHD. You can’t always spot ADHD in a virtual learning classroom, but there are a few things you can look for if you think that your child may need to be tested.

Possible Indicators of ADHD in Children

Trouble Navigating Multiple Tabs and Screens

Many students have to move between several tabs to complete their coursework. Teachers lecture through programs like Zoom and Teams, but they’ll also deliver handouts through learning systems like Canvas. And then, students may have to open Google Slides or a website connected to their textbooks. My son, who has severe ADHD, could hardly keep up with the different screens and sites. When I walked by, he had about 65 or 70 tabs open at any one time.

Social Maturity and Interaction with Peers

Most people understand that ADHD affects your ability to focus, but not everyone knows that ADHD in children often affects maturity. By fifth grade, you may notice that your child still acts younger than their peers. You may also notice they have more trouble interacting with classmates, which can translate to their outbursts or anxieties about logging into the virtual classroom.

Inability to Manage Schedules

Most students feel restless throughout the day. This reality becomes worse with virtual learning, because they now have to sit in one place for several hours at a time.

So how do you know when restlessness connects to ADHD? For my son, the major difference between his restlessness and other students’ is that he almost never knows what class he is supposed to be in. And he often doesn’t know what time his classes start. When he started a block schedule, he often couldn’t remember what day of the week it is.

ADHD in Children image
Image courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels.

How to Get Your Child Tested

Contact your pediatrician.

If you think that your child may have ADHD, the first step is to contact your pediatrician. You can start by expressing your concerns. The pediatrician will ask you a series of screening questions, and then they’ll request reports from your child’s teachers.

Your pediatrician will work with your child’s teachers.

Assessing a child with ADHD from a virtual classroom can be difficult. But you can ask teachers to record behavioral trends, as well as information about your child’s work habits. The pediatrician will consider these reports when determining if your child has ADHD, or if something else explains their behaviors.

What do I do if my child has been diagnosed with ADHD?

Contact your child’s school.

For children diagnosed with ADHD, the next step is to contact your school and begin the process of putting a 504 plan in place to better support your child. This process can feel overwhelming and sometimes disheartening to you, but you can find resources to help you through it. Which resources, specifically?

Resources for parents of children with ADHD.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a national organization with chapters throughout North Carolina. They’ll offer you several resources, from how to generally identify ADHD in children to how to make your specific home more supportive for your child. You can also contact the Family Support Network of North Carolina to get more information about support groups and activities for those with ADHD in your area.

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