Perhaps your child’s teacher has raised concerns that your child has difficulty focusing and paying attention. The teacher may have even suggested that you have your child evaluation for ADHD. What does this mean? People can have ADHD and it can look very different from person to person. Some children have difficulty sitting still. They get up and move around when they are not supposed to do so. This is referred to as hyperactivity. Other children are not restless in this way. Instead they sit in the classroom and daydream. This kind of behavior can reflect difficulty with paying attention. Parents will often tell me that their child can’t have ADHD no matter what the teacher says because they can play video games or watch TV for hours.
A hallmark feature of ADHD is difficulty sustaining attention on tasks that require sustained mental effort. Watching TV does not require sustained mental effort, but for many children doing a page of math problems does.