Small children are naturally energetic, get distracted very easily and are not able to focus on one thing for too long. Usually, it is normal and changes with age. However, if your child cannot focus on one thing for even a moment, has a lot of trouble with focusing and you do not see any progress although he/she is getting older and older, you may want to consult the problem with a doctor so as to check if it is not the inattentive ADHD.
Inattentive ADHD, or Attention deficit disorder (as it used to be called) results in difficulties with paying attention and concentrating. Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD results in child’s constant need to move. There is also Combined ADHD possible in which both types of ADHD are present.
If you can tell at least 6 of these sentences about your child, visit your doctor and consult the problem.
- Daydreams and gets distracted very easily.
- Is careless, makes careless mistakes on homework or tests; omits important details.
- Is bored very quickly and has trouble with staying focused.
- Has trouble with being organized (loses homework assignments, keeps the bedroom messy and cluttered).
- Doesn’t seem to listen when spoken to.
- Avoids tasks which require a lot of focus.
- Often loses track of things.
- Is forgetful in day to day activities.
- Has trouble following instructions and often shifts from task to task without finishing anything.
The doctor will help you diagnose the problem and check whether it is not something with similar symptoms: problems with hearing/vision, learning disabilities, anxiety or depression.
The doctor will probably prescribe some medication which should help your child stay more concentrated. Apart from this, you may need to start a therapy and use parenting tactics such as system of rewards for good behavior. Other tactics which may be found helpful in the case of Inattentive ADHD:
- Making lists of things to do. In this way you help your child organize his/her life and avoid mess.
- Divide projects into small pieces. It will be more doable if you make your child complete one big task in small parts with breaks.
- Be clear with your instructions.
- Make your child’s place organized. His/her things should have their own place and be easy to find.
- Make some routine for every day. When the day is well organized and your child knows what to do, it is easier for him/her to concentrate on completing certain things.
- Remove distractions like TV, radio, laptop etc. and tell teachers not to seat your child near windows during lessons.
- Reward your child. Seeing you satisfied with his/her efforts and getting a reward will be the source of motivation.
Your child needs support, special tools and treatment. Be supportive yourself, and as he/she spends a lot of time at school, talk to your child’s teachers and inform them about your child’s disorder and needs, so that they could know how to work with your child effectively.