TOPEKA (KSNT) – October marks attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month. 27 News stopped by the Topeka Family Service and Guidance Center (TFSGC) to see what parents should keep in mind when wondering if their child has the condition.

FSGC says with ADHD, knowing what to look for provides an opportunity for early intervention. That intervention is key to help things get better for the person struggling with ADHD, so other issues don’t overlap or pile on. The service center says keep an eye out for big changes in your child. If they’ve been hyper, or are frequently off task already, that could just be their personality.

It’s when new issues or increasingly problematic behavior shows up at school, or when they try to complete tasks, that parents should take note. One of the first steps for parents to take is checking in with their kid. Ask if the task itself is hard, or if they feel their brain isn’t cooperating with the rest of the body.

“Sometimes just a simple change of environment, because it’s hard to do a task with the t.v. being on, or it’s hard to do a task with too much quiet,” Director School & Community Services at TFSGC Jennie Watson said. “Start by just asking some of those questions. We find that a change of environment can often make a big impact on whatever the problem area might be.” 

Watson says ADHD resembles a racecar that goes around and around the track and can’t stop, or a car that can’t get started in the first place. Someone living with it may struggle with irritability, restlessness, difficulty to focus or pay attention and intense mood swings.

For more information about ADHD treatment, you can visit the Topeka Family Service and Guidance Center’s website here.