If Your Kid Has ADHD...

Updated on August 11, 2011
J.O. asks from Novi, MI
11 answers

When did you first notice the signs? What were they?

Anything odd relationship to TV? Any evening behavior that seemed off?
Please be as specific as possible.
I don't know to determine normal energy in a boy vs. ADHD.

Hmmm...so bouncing around the house like an animal in the evenings doesn't count? He will couch jump for 2 hours, panting. Every single evening. He is aged 5.

He can't play with his sister without her ending up screaming. He has trouble keeping his hands to himself. All he ever asks to do is TV and he is quickly bored; then he asks for TV. He can only do a few pages of a worksheet (his little sister can go for 30 minutes!). He is very loud and at school/camp often has to be told to be quiet or listen. He'll start play boxing with his friends out of nowhere. He gets easily excited when with a group and goes bonkers with a simple game of tag.

He can focus. He can pay attention. I guess I am not really seeing ADD, then. But I am seeing such EXTREME hyperactivity that it's very disturbing. What is that? I only noticed it once he turned 4.

What can I do next?

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answers from Orlando on

My son started showing signs of ADHD about 3....and it got really bad at 4 when he was kicked out of preschool. I worked in preschools for years and never seen a child like him he wouldn't sit still and several times had run into walls leaving huge bumps! As far as tv he watched it but would constantly have to get up and run around. At the dinner table he would take a bite run around sit and repeate. and in his bed at night he would lay there wide awake flopping like a fish until at least 1 am...

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answers from Boston on

ADHD child is not hyper he is inattentive. He can't focus for the life of him. He is very very very smart but he can't get to the end of a sentence without forgetting what he read 5 words before.

I think these are questions for your pediatrician. You can have him evaluated if you want. Speak to a child psychologist, behaviorist, etc
My youngest is very energetic bu he can sit still when asked and pay attention when needed. There is more to ADHD than just energy, it has many faces.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter wasn't diagnosed until she was 10. I always considered her a very "physical" girl, even though she's never been a tomboy she was always naturally attracted to playing with the boys (racing, wrestling, etc.)
I always knew she was "off" as I had two older kids and lots of nieces and nephews to observe.
As an infant/toddler: she wouldn't stay in her high chair or stroller, she always had to be moving around, she couldn't sit through a meal, EVER, it was so frustrating!
As a young child: I couldn't take her to the movies (or even to a school play) because she couldn't stay in her seat, she was up and down all the time, even during a short film (again, frustrating.) She talked constantly in the car, which also drove me batty as I like to listen to music while I drive.
She had a hard time with transitions, pick ups from school were always difficult. She would get in the car and just melt down, for no apparent reason as far as I could tell! Within a few minutes she would be fine.
As an older child: keeping her organized is a nightmare, and she loses things constantly. She has no interest in working on anything long term (like a school project or paper) and she gives up easily on things that she finds difficult.
The good news is that she is well liked and has lots of friends, so socially she is not suffering. And no, she doesn't watch any more or less TV than my other two kids. As far as night time behavior goes she has had more problems with nightmares and sleeping through the night but not to a point where I feel overly concerned.
The only way to determine if your child has ADHD is through very thorough testing. We have only been through the initial testing (school psychologist) and will go through more if and when we decide she needs medication.
Good luck to you and your son, parenthood can be a real maze of confusion!

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answers from St. Louis on

It isn't about energy.

Here is a better one, how many times are you standing right next to him telling him something and when you are done he says huh?

Does he seem like he heard nothing you said but can tell you the next day exactly what you said.

I could go on but the thing is everyone with ADD is different.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My son has ADHD/Aspergers, and has always been very "fidgety". He poked holes in his shirt and chewed his collar at school. He never stops talking humming singing and wanders from room to room while in the middle of a sentence and forgets to turn the TV or room light off. He will absentmindedly turn anything on the floor (like the vacuum hose) into a wobble board while talking at the same time. The only time he really sits still long enough to eat is while watching TV. He can spend hours rearranging things on his desk and sharpening pencils instead of doing homework.
At school, he needed a picture schedule and an aide to keep him on task. At age 4, we knew some things with his speech and behavior were "off". The first pediatric neurologist we saw did not bother to test for ADHD, saying of course he has it because it's part of a general Executive Function issue with his brain. Then we saw a different neurologist halfway through 2nd grade who did formal testing. One test involved pushing a button every time he saw a certain number on the screen. He thought he was paying attention but we could see that he was actually looking around the room, staring at the ceiling, etc. instead of focusing on the screen.

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answers from Burlington on

oh have I got a lot to tell you!But I will try to sum it up more. BTW take a look at my others posts because I was asking your question a few months ago. my nearly 7 year old daughter (sat is her birthday and mine) she was diagnosed after through testing with a child psychologist she is use like mamazitas daughter below. she can't sit still unless she's watching something on tv that she likes, very upset over call things, can't remember a lot, sleeping issues up the wazoo, many nightmares, almost every night, talks nonstop, focusing is the worst for her. she is now on straterra which is slow release and constantly stays in her system. It helps her in school in the places she was failing, she's already caught up! she also sees a behavioral specialist for the behavior at home, both meds and the behave. specialist are important. oh and I noticed when she was 2 yrs old but they don't diagnose a 2 yr old. I knew something was off as well. BTW once I started reading more about ADHD I saw so many more symptoms that she had that I didn't even know about!

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answers from Detroit on

Mamazita & Jennifer described my now 8yr old in detail. My daughter is on Strattera... NOT doing the job for her. Not even close. If anything, it's made her sad, feeling lonely, and very easily hurt (emotionally speaking).

I noticed things even when she was an infant just like mamazita was talking about. Sleep 20min, up for an hour.... FOR 24 HOURS!!! Until she was almost a year old!!!!! If I wasn't carrying her around or entertaining her while she was awake, she was SCREAMING. This is all before a yr old! As soon as she could move under her own ability... Things got better. Not a ton better, but better none the less. She sleep walks sometimes (if she went to bed already overtired). I'd said to my ex (her dad) for years... That he was/is the SAME WAY. He just got diagnosed with ADHD about the same time our daughter was the beginning of this year.

And no, I can't get her to sit down for more than 1/2 an hour @ 8yrs old. So, watching TV doesn't happen for very long with her. When she was younger, I couldn't get her to sit for more than 5min. She aggrivates her laid back 3yr old brother to no end.

Worst part? I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Hypersomnia (COMPLETE OPPOSITE of anyone hyper). If I didn't have my meds, I could EASILY sleep upwards of 18hrs out of 24 @ 32yrs old.

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answers from Detroit on

Before jumping to any conclusions about him being ADHD, also have him evalutated for any kind of Sensory Processing issues. Sensory Processing is treated with Occupational Therapy, not with medication. Building Bridges in Plymouth is a great resource for you.



answers from San Diego on

I highly recommend the book:

The Way Of Boys (Promoting the Social And Emotional Development of Young Boys) by Anthony Rao, Ph.D.

Love, love this book! Cannot recommend it enough! Read it, then you be (and feel) more relaxed and ready if you do have him tested and/or screened! Many children, whether diagnosed with "something" or not, can benefit from some behavior modification therapy!! It's nothing to be ashamed of or fear! Your son ultimately needs more time to develop in some areas! Most boys need more time to mature/develop)

My adopted son (5yrs) has been diagnosed ADHD, Not a big surprise for us because both sides of his birth family have huge histories of ADHD! I was ready for it since birth, have been arming myself with information since then and have done behavior therapy with him and have all his doctors(ie: his Ped, Allergist and Pycharitrist) on board and in the loop! It's not been a walk in the park, he can be exhausting even when he is behaving, lol! Yet most recently he has made HUGE strides in his behavior and his maturity! He's "getting there" and I couldn't be more proud!!

I do have to say don't feel like you HAVE to get a diagnoses!! He is still young!

I know our INTENSE children can be so exhausting but help is out there! Stay strong, arm yourself with information and have a "team" of people to help you!!



answers from Detroit on

The psychologist who tested my daughter likened it to taking a two year old to a grocery store. They can't stop themselves from picking up things and running five different ways. I have been told that this is the age they test children at and give a significant degree of accuracy. Whether you
medicate or not, and you suspect that your child has some issues, you should get them tested. It may help later on if your child needs extra help or needs to establish an ISP or 504 plan. You really need to talk with your pediatrician as soon as possible to get the help and support that you need.



answers from Dallas on

My son was diagnosed with ADHD at 4. It was very young for the diagnosis but we went through 3 months of testing to reach that determination. He had a lot of the same symptoms plus more. Inability to sit still at school, continually getting in trouble, focusing on one particular thing (always electronic) and not letting us take it away without a meltdown, random breakdowns in the store or the car when he can's shut down his brain, not being able to fall asleep/trouble waking up, not getting along with older sister for more than 30 minutes, etc....
I would find an ADHD specialist in your area and see if you can start testing...they will probably turn you away because he is so young, but if you give him all the symptoms and issues they might let him be evaluated.
I am sure there are people that are anti medicine, but I will tell you that because of the medicine I have a child that is now focused and driven. He is starting kindergarten this month and has already tested in the 1st grade level in all aspects of school. I know that without the medicine he would not have been focused enough to make it through all the testing and a full day of class!!

Good luck in your efforts, do AS MUCH research as you possibly can!!!

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