An Overview on ADHD Symptoms in Children

It is completely normal for children and teenagers to forget their homework one time or another, daydream during class or fidget during a test or at the dinner table, but what happens when hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity seem to control the child’s behavior? In these cases, parents and other caregivers may be looking at ADHD symptoms. ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, can cause school-aged children in the New Braunfels, San Marcos and Seguin, Texas area to perform poorly in school and affect how they get along with their peers and adults. Dr. Katie Skelton, child and adolescent psychiatrist and ADHD specialist, is available to help families gain control of this disorder with the use of an ADHD test (symptom checklist), observation, talk therapy and medications.

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How to Spot ADHD Symptoms

The three hallmark signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) include inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. The ADHD symptoms a child displays depends on which signs are more dominant.

  • The hyperactive child who cannot sit still or remain quiet
  • The child who cannot stay focused on a task
  • The child who displays both characteristics

It is important to note that children and teenagers affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be:

  • Hyperactive and impulsive, but can pay attention
  • Cannot pay attention, but are not hyperactive and impulsive
  • Hyperactive, impulsive and cannot pay attention (the most common type of ADHD)

Symptoms of inattention include being easily distracted, getting bored with tasks before completed, not following instructions and not paying attention to details. Symptoms of hyperactivity include constantly fidgeting, not sitting still or relaxing, talking excessively and having a short temper. Symptoms of impulsivity include acting without thinking, interrupting others, intruding on other games and conservations and the inability to keep emotions under control.

An ADHD Test (Symptom Checklist) for Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a difficult disorder to diagnose since there is not one simple test designed to provide a diagnosis. Child and adolescent psychiatrists, such as Dr. Skelton, must observe the child, perform an assessment and gather information from outside sources to reach a concrete diagnosis.

In order to determine if ADHD symptoms require help from a healthcare professional, parents and other caregivers are often given a simple ADHD test (symptom checklist). Here is a sample of the questions on this form of ADHD test:

  • Does your child have trouble paying attention?
  • Does your child make careless mistakes?
  • Does your child listen when spoken to directly?
  • Is your child organized?
  • Does your child complete each activity?
  • Can your child remain focused on homework and other projects?
  • Can your child follow instructions and finish tasks?
  • Is your child constantly “on the go?”
  • Can your child sit still?
  • Does your child constantly talk?
  • Does your child interfere with others?
  • Does your child blurt out answers?
  • Can your child wait patiently?
  • Does your child seem intrusive?

If you answered “yes” to numerous questions, your child may be experiencing ADHD symptoms.

Please note: These questions are not a true ADHD test. They are not intended to diagnose the disorder or replace the care of a healthcare professional.

Medication management with or without therapy has been proven to be the best intervention for numerous children and teenagers suffering from ADHD symptoms. It is important to note that medication is often superior to therapy alone in many young patients. Click here to read an informative Q&A, ‘The Multimodal Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).’

Would you like more information on an ADHD test, observation or treatment options?

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If you believe your child is displaying ADHD symptoms and you would like to complete an ADHD test (symptom checklist), please contact the office of Dr. Katie Skelton, child and adolescent psychiatrist serving the communities of New Braunfels, San Marcos and Seguin, Texas.