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Is It ADHD or Typical Kid Behavior?

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 11 school-aged children are diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That’s more than 6.1 million (9.4 percent) children in the United States with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. With more than 60 percent of these children will carry this disorder with them into adulthood, it’s easy to see why parents would be concerned as to whether or not their child has ADHD.

Unfortunately, telling the difference between a normal, antsy child and one who is hyperactive to the point where it affects his or her ability to learn isn’t always an easy task. Most children have an abundance of energy, jump from one activity to the next, and get distracted easily. So how can parents identify ADHD red flags in a sea of typical child behavior? By realizing which behaviors qualify as ADHD symptoms. See below to learn more.

For a board-certified child psychiatrist in Carrollwood who provides ADHD testing and treatment options for children of all ages, get in touch with Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D.

Related: Parents, Have You Considered Having Your Child Tested for ADHD?

Three Main Patterns of ADHD

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), ADHD is marked by three major ongoing patterns that interfere with functioning and/or development:

  • Inattention: This means your child wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty staying focused, and is easily distracted; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
  • Hyperactivity: This means your child seems to constantly move about, excessively fidget or talk, or display aggressive behavior, including in situations where it is not appropriate.
  • Impulsivity: This means your child makes hasty decisions without thinking about the consequences. They may blurt out answers or inappropriate comments during conversation.

Some children with ADHD will only exhibit symptoms related to one of these patterns of behavior, while others will exhibit both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Most children will exhibit a combination of the patterns above.

Related: Caring for a Child With ADHD

Common Signs Associated With an ADHD Diagnosis

ADHD is very complex. You can’t simply check a few symptoms off a list and diagnose it because, at one point or another, every single child showcases an ADHD symptom. It can be entirely too easy to see it and think something is wrong rather than that your child is just exhibiting normal behaviors for a child their age. However, there are some symptoms exhibited in preschool-aged children (3-4 years) that are frequently associated with an ADHD diagnosis when children reach school age. These signs are as follows:

  • Your child dislikes or actively avoids activities that require paying attention for more than a minute
  • Your child cannot hop on one foot by age 4
  • Your child talks a lot or makes much more noise than other children of the same age
  • Your child warms up too quickly to strangers
  • Your child is frequently aggressive with playmates or has been removed from daycare for aggression
  • Your child has been injured as a result of moving too fast or playing too hard

If you have observed any of these symptoms in your child or have concerns about your child’s development, it’s important to consult with a child psychiatrist regarding ADHD treatment in Carrollwood as soon as possible. There are safe and effective treatment options available for your child to better manage their symptoms, increase their coping skills, and transform their negative behaviors to increase academic and emotional success.

To schedule a consultation with Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Carrollwood, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D., or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. 

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Maulik K. Trivedi, M.D. is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website. 

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