Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can show up in many ways. The condition may affect a child’s focus, success in school, and social relationships. However, the symptoms of ADHD can vary significantly. While most children are diagnosed by the age of 7, there are some signs and symptoms that can show up in pre-teens. Here’s what to know about recognizing ADHD, as well as treatment options and foods that can help focus.
The most significant way that ADHD shows up is in a pre-teen’s behavior. Commonly, children and teenagers with ADHD have difficulty recognizing what other people need or want. This might exhibit as continually interrupting or impatience when waiting for a turn. While younger children may be more prone to tantrums, pre-teens might have trouble with outbursts of anger or emotional displays.
Kids with ADHD often have trouble sitting still and may fidget, twitch, or squirm when forced to sit quietly. As a result, pre-teens may be unable to play quietly when asked. A lack of focus or inattention to detail may exhibit as trouble managing personal hygiene.
Additional signs to know
As children get older, ADHD might look like daydreaming, forgetfulness, or careless mistakes. These kids might have trouble staying organized in school, or might constantly forget or misplace assignments. ADHD behaviors might also show up as difficulty compromising or reading social cues.
What can I do for my child?
Many children with the condition can benefit from medication treatment. Some options might include stimulants, antidepressants, or other prescriptions. While medication therapy can be an effective intervention, some parents may want to try additional treatment options, such as psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, or joining a support group. As a supplement to traditional treatments, some foods can help kids focus.
The nutrition facts on ADHD
Overall, parents and children should focus on a nutrition plan that incorporates whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Some foods may make ADHD symptoms better, such as high-protein foods, complex carbohydrates, and omega-3 fatty acids. According to experts, any food that is helpful for the brain can be beneficial for ADHD.
Foods to avoid
Just as some ingredients can boost brain health, others can lead to brain fog or hyperactivity. Processed foods such as candy, sugar, and products made from white flour may make symptoms worse. Additionally, caffeine can worsen some of the side effects of ADHD medication.
Find support today
Children who are diagnosed with ADHD will need to learn how to manage symptoms while getting older. Parents can help pre-teens by providing foods that help boost focus. For more information about ADHD in pre-teens, speak with a healthcare provider.