The road to diagnosing ADHD can be a long one. Since most children have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time and are generally energetic, parents must first determine that their child’s behavior is out of the norm. Unfortunately, there is no easy blood test or brain scan that can tell you definitively that your child has ADHD. The symptoms below are a few (but not all) of the common warning signs of ADHD in children:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Excessive daydreaming, confusion during conversations, appearing to not be listening
  • Boredom during activities, trouble following directions
  • Hyperfocusing, the ability to focus on interesting tasks for unusually long periods of time
  • Hypofocusing, having problems focusing, and jumping from task to task (the same child can exhibit both hyperfocusing and hypofocusing)
  • Disorganised with belongings and papers
  • Disoranised with time
  • Trouble shifting from one task to the other, struggling to finish tasks
  • Impatience, difficulties waiting for a turn
  • Overreacting, getting angry/emotional/overwhelmed easily
  • Excessive talking
  • Restlessness, inability to sit still
  • Constant fidgeting, touching and playing with things

ADHD doesn’t mean your child has to be hyperactive; in fact, ADHD is overlooked in many children who are just “spaced out” or inattentive. They can suffer for years without a diagnosis, labelled “unintelligent” or “lazy”, when in truth they have what’s called Predominantly Inattentive ADHD, or ADD.

If your child is easily distracted and inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive, don’t rule out ADHD; speak to your pediatrician about the possibility of inattentive ADHD.

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