How to Handle Difficulty with Focus For Kids and Adults?
Is your child falling behind in school because they are having trouble focusing or sitting still, or are often caught daydreaming? Are you noticing that you’re spacing out and unable to focus on everyday tasks at work? There are many reasons why someone may have difficulty focusing. Of course, we also understand that there may be a concern as to whether or not a member of your family could actually have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of ADHD either in yourself or your child or teen. A child is often diagnosed with ADHD only if they display a minimum of six of the telltale symptoms of ADHD and if the symptoms have been occurring for at least six months in multiple environments (e.g. home; school). These symptoms must also be negatively impacting the child’s ability to function or succeed within these environments. Common symptoms of childhood ADHD include,
Making careless mistakes, forgetting homework or not paying attention to details
Having difficulty maintaining focus and attention on certain tasks
Having trouble listening or focusing when spoken to
Often failing to complete one task before jumping to another
Often losing or forgetting items such as books, pencils, wallets, toys, etc.
Avoiding certain activities or assignments that require more intense mental effort
Being easily distracted by outside stimuli
Some children with ADHD may also display symptoms of hyperactivity such as fidgeting, have trouble waiting their turn, blurt out answers or not be able to sit still.
Some people believe that if they weren’t diagnosed with ADHD as a child that they couldn’t possibly have ADHD later in life; however, there are many adults out there who have difficulty focusing but have no idea that it’s due to ADHD. Sometimes adults may assume there are other underlying issues that could be to blame for their lack of attention and focus when in actuality it’s ADHD. Common symptoms of ADHD in adults include,
Becoming easily distracted particularly by tasks that are not engaging
Making errors or careless mistakes frequently
Leaving work incomplete or unfinished
Zoning out or daydreaming
Having trouble focusing on a conversation or what you’re reading
Getting bored easily
Adults with ADHD may be more likely to be disorganized, leave work unfinished or prone to procrastination. They can be chronically late or often misplace items like car keys or their wallet. They may completely forget about or miss deadlines or appointment. Adults with ADHD may also have impulse control problems (e.g. addictions; reckless behavior) or emotional issues (e.g. irritability; short temper)
If you or your child is displaying symptoms of ADHD and you want to schedule a neuropsychological evaluation, call The Child & Family Counseling Group at (703) 352-3822.