Signs That Your Child May Have ADHD

Is your child falling behind in school? Are their teachers using words like “daydreamer” or “makes careless mistakes”? Do you notice that your child has trouble focusing not just at school but at home or in social environments? If so, these could be signs of ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder). From the office of our McAllen, TX, pediatrician Dr. Livania Zavala-Spinetti, learn more about the signs and symptoms of ADHD in children.

The three main symptoms associated with ADHD are:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

Your child doesn’t have to display all three main symptoms in order to be diagnosed with ADHD. Symptoms vary from child to child, and while some children may have all three symptoms not everyone will. A child with ADHD may:

  • Fidget and have trouble sitting still
  • Have endless energy and need to move around a lot
  • Have trouble waiting their turn in line
  • Interrupt others while they are talking
  • Become easily distracted
  • Be prone to outbursts or have trouble controlling their emotions
  • Have trouble following or listening to instructions
  • Easily become distracted
  • May lose items like schoolwork or books easily
  • Make careless mistakes or start many projects or tasks without finishing them

If you looking at these symptoms you may think to yourself, “My child does all of these!” Sure, these behaviors are also normal in children from time to time, so long as they aren’t occurring regularly and impacting their school, home and social life.

When will symptoms appear?

While it is possible for children as young as 2 and 3 years old to display symptoms of ADHD, most children aren’t actually diagnosed with this neurodevelopmental disorder until after the age of 5. Great care should be taken if diagnosing a child before 5 years old as many of these symptoms are actually normal in toddlers.

What is involved in an ADHD screening?

There is no single test for diagnosing ADHD; therefore, during a consultation, our McAllen, TX, children’s doctor will conduct a clinical interview with the parents, asking specific questions about their child’s habits, behaviors, school problems, etc. In order for your child to be diagnosed with ADHD they have to display six or more symptoms on a routine basis for more than six months in at least two different settings (e.g. home; school; social events).

Sometimes a consultation with additional sources such as sibling, family friends, or teachers can also be helpful in providing an accurate diagnosis. These consultations often take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.

Edinburg Children’s Clinic is dedicated to providing comprehensive pediatric care to children and teens living and around McAllen and Edinburg, TX. Call us today at (956) 682-4500 for our Edinburg office and (965) 331-6063 for our McAllen office and let us know your concerns. We would be happy to schedule a consultation with our pediatrician.