Seeing your child struggle with attention is not easy for any parent, and the younger the child the more difficult it is to decern whether it’s simply the age during which they can’t sit still or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. It’s not often the case that a toddler is diagnosed by
Seeing your child struggle with attention is not easy for any parent, and the younger the child the more difficult it is to decern whether it’s simply the age during which they can’t sit still or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD.
It’s not often the case that a toddler is diagnosed by ADHD Doctors for Children since most children that age exhibit the same kinds of behaviors. The trick for many parents is in determining whether their child has ADHD or if they are at risk of developing the disorder as they age.
There are certain key elements to ADHD that are displayed, even in those early childhood years that can give you as a parent some insight as to whether or not it’s just something they will grow out of something to bring to your pediatrician’s attention.
What is ADHD?
It has been theorized that some toddler behaviors may be related to ADHD development as a child grows. The real problem is that most toddlers exhibit these behaviors to varying degrees. They include:
- Inattention, which, as any parent knows, is a common trait among toddlers.
- Hyperactivity that goes beyond the usual extent that you would see in many young children.
- Impulsivity, which is common for any person growing up, regardless of age.
Where these symptoms become a concern is if they last for longer than 6-months and they affect the child’s ability to interact with other children their age. If you find this to be the case with your toddler, discuss it with a doctor who specializes in behavior development to determine options, especially where medication is suggested. Note that for a proper diagnosis, the child must exhibit these symptoms in two different settings, for example, school and home.
Pay Particular Attention to Certain Behaviors
As toddlers enter the school system, take note of these behaviors that may indicate ADHD, but remember that most toddlers will show at least some of these signs:
- Trouble focusing on one activity
- Getting bored before completing tasks
- Easily distracted while trying to listen
- Difficulty following instructions
- Inability to sit still, especially during calm moments
- Interrupting at inappropriate times
- Excessive noise-making
- Jumping for one toy to another in a constant loop of activity
As well, Impulsivity is a major factor to watch for, which can include:
- Extreme impatience with others or waiting their turn
- Blurting inappropriate comments
- Emotional displays
- Outbursts of anger
Once again, these are common toddler behaviors but look for them to be more severe in a child with ADHD as related to other children in the same age group. While there are many symptoms to watch out for concerning ADHD in young children, in many cases these are simply a result of their age, learning, and growing. If these and other symptoms arise, like aggressiveness or a high degree of fearlessness that puts your child or others in harm’s way, consult with a medical professional. The right treatment plan can put your child on the path to controlling ADHD and future success.