ADHD is the most common behavior disorder in kids, and it can influence how they do in school, their overall happiness, and how they get along with family, friends, and teachers.
ADHD Symptoms in Child
It’s tough to spot signs of ADHD in kids under 4. Short attention spans, impulsiveness, tantrums, and lots of activity are pretty normal at certain stages. Most toddlers go through the “terrible twos,” and not all of them have ADHD.
Kids who are just naturally active and energetic, without ADHD, can usually focus when needed, like for stories or looking at pictures. They can also tidy up toys or sit down to do a puzzle.
But kids with ADHD struggle with these things. They might have extreme behavior that messes up activities and relationships.
Toddlers with ADHD might:
- Be restless
- Run around, climb, and jump on everything
- Always seem “on the go” like they’re powered by a motor
- Talk nonstop
- Find it tough to concentrate or listen for long
- Have trouble settling down, napping, or sitting for meals
Run around, climb, and jump on everything
However, some kids with ADHD can focus well on things they’re into, like specific toys.
Suppose a parent or caregiver observed their toddler’s behavior is aggressive and intense, which is affecting family life In that case, it’s advisable to talk to the child’s doctor for an evaluation.
As per the guideline ADHD diagnosing does not cover children ages 3 years or younger.
However, some doctors are still diagnosing ADHD in toddlers. They might suspect it based on things like:
- Family history of ADHD
- Genetic factors
- Mom using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy
- Mom smoking during pregnancy
- Mom being around harmful chemicals during pregnancy
- Being born too early or with low birth weight
- Issues with the central nervous system during crucial development times
- Delays in motor skills, speech, and language
- Behavioral challenges
- How do doctors diagnose ADHD patients?
To figure out if an older kid has ADHD, a doctor might:
- Do a check-up
- Look at their and their family’s medical history
- Check school records
Ask family, teachers, babysitters, and coaches to fill out a questionnaire and compare their symptoms and behavior to the criteria and rating scales for ADHD
For older kids and adults, the doctor will also look for things like:
- Not paying attention to details when doing tasks
- Having a hard time staying focused
- Seeming like they’re not listening when someone talks to them
- Not following instructions
- Struggling to organize tasks
- Frequently losing things and forgetting to do stuff
- Fidgeting and not staying seated
- Running or climbing in places they shouldn’t
- Talking too much
- Not being able to do something quietly
- Having a tough time waiting for their turn.
- How to diagnosing younger children?
It can be tricky to tell if younger kids fit these criteria.
Sometimes, a developmental issue, like a delay in language skills, might make it seem like ADHD when it’s not.
Other health problems can have similar symptoms, such as:
- Brain injuries
- Learning or language difficulties
- Mood disorders like depression and anxiety
- Other mental or developmental issues
- Seizure disorders
- Sleep problems
- Thyroid issues
- Vision or hearing troubles
If preprimary school-age children or infants show signs of ADHD, it’s advisable to visit a specialist for a proper evaluation. you can visit any of the specialists as per the initial symptoms you observed in your child’s speech pathologist, developmental pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatrist. They can help the doctor make sure it’s the right diagnosis.
ADHD Treatment in Children
There are some standard guidelines for children above 4 years, however, for toddlers, there are no standard processes.
For children above 4, doctors mainly recommended the below 2 processes:
Behavioral therapy: This therapy can be performed by a parent or any qualified doctor.
Medical treatment: When the symptoms are serious and behavioral therapy not giving good results in that case some doctors recommend methylphenidate hydrochloride and other similar kind of medicines.
Time by time, the doctor will monitor the child’s health condition and change the doses as needed.
Early age treatment for kids below 3 years
The CDC suggests coaching for parents and behavior therapy for little ones. Here’s how they break it down:
Teaching parents: This helps parents handle their child’s behavior, and it seems to be as effective as medication for young kids. Plus, it keeps away the side effects that can come with meds.
Working with the child: The therapist helps the child learn:
- New behaviors that won’t cause issues
- New ways of expressing themselves
When the kid starts pre-primary school, parents can request the school for extra care about the child’s academic and behavioral development which will help the child in speedy recovery.
Some experts can’t agree on whether it’s good or bad that more U.S. preschoolers are getting diagnosed with ADHD.
There’s concern that doctors might be diagnosing it too much, and kids are taking meds when they’re young. But, on the flip side, an early diagnosis means a kid can get help faster.
The doctor will check for other issues first. If, after checking, they say the toddler has ADHD, they’ll give advice, support, and info about behavioral therapy.
If the doctor suggests medical treatment, some parents might want a second opinion before going for it. With the right treatment and direction, ADHD symptoms are doable.
Que 1. What is ADHD?
ADHD is a challenging and long-lasting neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts around 11 percent of school-age kids. What’s tough is that for over three-quarters of them, the symptoms stick around into adulthood. It’s all about dealing with levels of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that aren’t quite fitting for their age. It’s not an easy journey.
Que 2. What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?
ADHD and ADD are kind of the same thing only. where ADHD covers both the attention and hyperactivity aspects, while ADD is specifically about attention without hyperactivity. It’s like different flavors of the same challenge. People still toss around both terms, and it can get a bit confusing, but it’s all about understanding how attention works in different ways.
Que 3. How is ADHD diagnosed?
Diagnosing ADHD isn’t as simple as a quick test. It takes a thorough evaluation to figure things out, ruling out other possibilities, and checking for any additional conditions. This process isn’t rushed—it takes time and effort. It includes digging into the person’s past and really understanding how they’re doing academically, socially, and emotionally. It’s about getting the full picture of where they’re at developmentally.