As parents, you want the best for your children, so watching for early signs of behavioral problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is naturally a concern. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control estimates over 6 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the difficulty of diagnosis means the number of children with the condition is likely much higher.
Since children are by nature forgetful, distracted, and full of energy, it’s often tricky to pinpoint when normal behavior crosses the line. The doctors at Katy Pediatric Associates evaluate your child based on observation and comparison with age-specific behaviors, but of course you need to make the first move by setting up a consultation. Therefore, it's important to understand potential signs and symptoms of ADHD.
Recognizing signs of ADHD
It’s crucial to remember that many of the signs of ADHD are, on their own, normal children’s behavior. Diagnosis often depends on patterns of behavior over time. Use your observations only as a precautionary evaluator and work with your ADHD specialist at Katy Pediatric Associates to establish a clinical diagnosis. To get you started, here are some of the common signs of ADHD:
A child’s observational world starts at the end of their fingertips and expands over the years to include the world and people around them. Interrupting or butting-in may be a sign they are trying to learn boundaries, or it can be a symptom of ADHD. The same is true when children have trouble waiting or taking turns. Pay attention to how habitual this behavior is.
A child’s boundless energy combined with boredom can lead to restlessness and an inability to hold still. When fidgeting becomes virtually constant, though, or a child has few periods of quiet play, it could be a sign of a developmental disorder.
The opposite side of the ADHD spectrum finds some children quiet, withdrawn, or less involved with their surroundings. They may seem “somewhere else,” staring into space and unaware of activity around them. If they’re constantly not in the moment, this, too, may be problematic.
Keeping emotions in check is a challenge that all children face, particularly with frustrations and anger. An inability to develop control of emotions could, over time, indicate a need for further investigation.
Inability to focus
You may note this tendency when speaking to a child directly, and their attention wanders mid-conversation. They also likely can’t repeat what you discussed. They may also have trouble completing tasks or games before becoming distracted and moving on to other activities. If this becomes the norm, it’s a red flag.
Avoiding complex activities
Games or tasks that feature several steps may not engage your child, and they may actively avoid these types of activities as a result. Their organizational ability might also seem lacking, and they can forget key steps in a multi-part chore they’ve been given or be forgetful about routine tasks.
As well as these symptoms, an important aspect of ADHD is that signs of the disorder crop up in multiple settings, such as both at home and at school.
Be watchful for these behaviors, and note how many of them apply to your child. If you find a pattern, more than likely you need to get help.
Diagnosing ADHD is rarely easy, and developing a treatment plan presents similar challenges, so a partnership with a doctor at Katy Pediatric Associates assures that your child receives appropriate attention and responsive care. We can help you determine if your child does, in fact, have ADHD, or if they’re simply going through “a phase” and will grow out of it.
If you have any concerns about your child’s behavior, contact our office using the online booking tool or call us directly at 281-492-7676. The time is now to get your child re-engaged with their world.