October is ADD and ADHD Awareness Month


By Sylvia McGrath

Boy with ADD


Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of ADD and ADHD:

It is normal for children to occasionally daydream during class, act without thinking, and forget  their homework or get fidgety at the dinner table. However, impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention, are also signs of ADD or ADHD.

When a child has ADD/ADHD it can also lead to problems at home and school, and, affect the child’s ability to learn and get along with others. It is therefore, important to know what the signs and symptoms are and get help if the child is showing any of them. 

Some ADHA Symptoms:

  •          They cannot sit still, never seems to listen, 
  •         Do not follow instructions no matter how clearly they are given.
  •         They blurt out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times.
  •        They may also have been criticized for being lazy.
  •         They are labeled as troublemakers or undisciplined.

The symptoms and signs of ADD/ADHD usually appear before the age of seven. It can, however, be a little difficult to distinguish between normal kid behavior and ADHD. If a few signs show up only in some situations then it is probably not ADD/ADHD. Should the child show a number of signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD and are disruptive at home, school  and play then it is time to take a closer look.

Before an accurate diagnosis of ADD/ADHD can be made, it is important that the child is taken to a mental health professional to explore and rule out the following possible causes of the ADHD-like symptoms     

  • Major life events or traumatic experiences that may have caused stress (e.g. divorce, a recent move, death of a loved one, illness, bullying.)
  • Learning disabilities or problems with reading, writing, motor skills, or language.
  •  Psychological problems including-anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.     
  • Behavioral disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder.
  •  Medical conditions, including thyroid problems, neurological conditions, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

 Diagnosing ADD/ADHD in children:

 At this time, there is no imaging or laboratory test existing to determine whether a child has DD/ADHD. The diagnosis is mainly made on the signs and symptoms that are observed and by ruling out other disorders. It is therefore, important to have a full medical and psychological evaluation. Doctors usually interview the parent, child and any adult who can provide and insight into the child’s behavior.  When choosing a specialist to diagnose the child, it is a good idea to also get recommendations from other doctors, therapists, and parents. Insurance companies are also a good source for referrals and information about the coverage of the family’s insurance plan.

Mental health professionals who can diagnose ADD/ADHD include psychologists, paediatricians, and psychiatrists.

 For more information, please see the following links: 

 World Links:

World – Non-Government Organizations

* Attention Deficit Disorder Association – http://www.add.org

 Attention Deficit Disorder Association helps to provide information, resources and networking to adults with AD/HD and to the professionals who work with them. In doing so, ADDA generates hope, awareness, empowerment and connections worldwide in the field of AD/HD.

 * C.H.A.D.D.: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders – http://www.chadd.org

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S.

First written by Sylvia McGrath, Freelance Writer – 2008

**Please note: that this article is just to serve as an information resource, this is not to be used for diagnosis. If you have any medical concerns or questions, please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Canadian links:




Book Recommendation:-

ADD & ADHD Simplified: How To Understand & Manage Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children, Kids & Adults – A Parenting & Caretaking Handbook 

Susan Jackson

 Available from www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com


About writingmama

Sylvia McGrath ~ AKA Writingmama, a freelance writer from King City, Ontario has worked in the business field for about forty years obtaining business management experience and business writing skills. She also spent several years in social work for Children’s Services. Now retired is living her childhood dream of being a writer. A few years ago Sylvia decided to take a course in freelance writing, which she really enjoyed as it was the key to follow her dreams. Since completing the course, she has worked as a professional writer, a published poet and co-authored a book with Two Maximum Life Coaches about living with chronic illness; this is titled After The Diagnosis: The Journey Beyond.” She also co-authored an E-Book of Resources for the parents of children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges titled “The Treasure Chest of Resources,” part-one has already been sent to the Canadian National Library Archives. Sylvia has also written several articles on chronic illness for the following online sites. •www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/writingmama •www.helium.com/users/32475 •www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=Writingmom Besides working as a freelance writer, Sylvia still finds time for two other passions of hers; to volunteer as a literacy tutor for her local Learning Centre, and assist in facilitating of workshops on disability awareness. Her main mission for the future is to write a series of books for young adults and children who have learning challenges and suffer chronic illness. At present she is also the co-owner and columnist for “Professor Owl’s Newsletter” which is published on-line monthly for children.
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