As children grow, they mature at completely different rates and they grow to have distinct personalities, unique temperaments and different levels of energy. It is completely normal for a child to become distracted, to struggle with concentration or to act with impulsivity at different parts of their lives. Sometimes, unfortunately, these completely normal factors are mistaken for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. True symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often first appear early on in the child’s life, typically between the ages of three and six years old. Because the symptoms can vary significantly from one person to the next, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder that can be really hard to diagnose.
The child’s parents may first begin to notice that their child is losing interest in something more quickly than other children, or they may notice that the child always appears to be out of control. Teachers are often the individuals that notice the first symptoms, especially when the child is having difficulty following directions, or when the child appears to be spacing out on the playground or while in the classroom.
There is no single test that can accurately diagnose a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The best way to obtain such a diagnosis is through the help of a licensed professional that will work to gather information about that child and their behavior. The family may choose to first consult the pediatrician for the child for advice on the matter of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some pediatricians will be able to look at and assess the child, but many pediatricians will send the family to a specialist that has specific experience in such childhood mental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The first thing that the specialist or the pediatrician is going to want to do is rule out other things that may relate to the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. For example, there are specific health conditions, situations and events that can cause the symptoms.