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Identifying ADD in Your Child

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) refers to a handful of symptoms that makes it difficult for a person to concentrate and maintain focus. Children with ADD are likely to find it difficult to function during everyday tasks. For example, completing school work will be a big challenge. These children are also likely to get into trouble both at home and school.

Children do not display ADD symptoms overnight. They tend to show up over a period of several months. If these symptoms are not dealt with in an intelligent manner they can cause your child to have poor self esteem and lead to more problems in the future.


Unlike ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) children with ADD are not hyperactive. They simply have trouble paying attention to things that do not interest them. When they are doing something they really enjoy they usually have no trouble paying attention.

Child ADD is diagnosed in the same was as in adults. The psychologist or psychiatrist will consider several important questions in order to determine if ADD is, in fact, what they are suffering from. Here are a few of them:

  • Are life tasks difficult to perform? 
  • Are these behaviors typical for a child of the same age? 
  • Is this something that has been going on for some time or is a temporary situation to blame? 
  • Are these behaviors only occurring at one particular setting like school or at home?

Kids below five years old are very difficult to diagnose with ADD or any other mental disorder, for that matter. Children change so quickly during these years and maturity level plays a role in the diagnosis. It is still a good idea to talk to an expert because they see many kids and can compare your child with them.

ADD does not develop as a result of how a child is raised or social factors. There is strong evidence that shows it occurs as a result of genes and brain chemistry. So, if you are feeling guilty about your child's problem then you can stop beating yourself up. This is something that runs in families and has nothing to do with how you raised your kid.

The brain chemicals can be easily adjusted using prescription medication and your child can go on to live a happy and productive life, if they stick with the treatment plan. Make sure that they know they need to continue seeing the doctor and taking their medication. It is easy for them to begin to think that everything is better and they can get by without outside help.

Dr. Sharmistha Barai is a Child & Adolescent psychiatrist based in Saint Louis, Missouri, using her talents and expertise to treat clients for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders. She specializes in general psycho-geriatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, drug and alcohol. Dr. Barai completed a MBBS degree (medical degree equivalent) at Lady Hardings Medical College, in New Delhi, India (2002).
Also read: Do You Have a Defiant Child?

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