Know the symptoms of ADHD in toddlers, tweens and teens

Published on: 27 June 2022, 11:07 am IST
Does your child find it hard to concentrate? If so, you should look out for symptoms of ADHD in children!
Dr Monika Chhajed
ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Most kids struggle to sit still, pay attention and wait for their turn at times, but if your child has a lot of difficulties remaining focused on a regular basis, it could be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is not just typical toddler behavior. This issue can even affect teens and adults. Recognizing ADHD in toddlers is not always easy since children of this age tend to have a hard time paying attention.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and it affects how the brain and nervous system develop. The different areas of the brain in ADHD don’t interact with each other in the way they should. This is why children with ADHD may have greater difficulty thinking, learning, expressing feelings, or controlling their behavior than their classmates.

How good is your kid’s attention span? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects youngsters and causes them to struggle with:

  • Being hyperactive — They can’t sit still for lengthy periods of time
  • Paying attention — They have trouble concentrating on activities.
  • Controlling impulses — They may say or do things without considering them through

Many children face similar challenges occasionally. But these difficulties occur frequently in children with ADHD and have a significant impact on their daily lives.

ADHD symptoms in toddlers

Symptoms of ADHD in toddlers might be difficult to detect. During particular periods of development, a limited attention span, impatience, tantrum, and high activity levels are frequent.

They may engage in irrational behavior that interferes with activities and relationships. A kid must exhibit certain characteristics for at least 6 months in multiple settings, such as at home and at nursery school, to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Toddlers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may:

  • Talk constantly
  • Be unable to focus or listen for long periods of time
  • Find it difficult to relax, snooze, or sit for meals
    Be restless

ADHD symptoms in tweens

Not all children with ADHD are hyperactive. However, if a child is, it will become apparent during the school years. You will also notice many other signs and symptoms. They may find it hard to concentrate and have difficulty making sound decisions or arranging their activities. They may also have greater problems with the following than typical youngsters their age:

  • Allowing others to speak
  • Doing homework or household tasks
  • Switching roles
  • Organizing stuff like homework and books
  • Sharing

ADHD symptoms in teens

Hyperactivity usually improves after adolescence. However, your youngster may become restless if he or she is forced to sit for long amounts of time. Other issues, such as time, motivation, and organization, will become the most common symptoms for patients at this point. A teen with ADHD may struggle to concentrate on schoolwork yet excel at video games, which provide quick results. While all teenagers can be emotional, those with ADHD may have a harder time controlling their emotions. A teen with ADHD may engage in risky activities as they can be impulsive, immature in judgement and seek thrill.

Treatment for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD may include behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. If a child or adolescent has mild or moderate symptoms of the condition, behavioral therapy alone may be enough. Medication is particularly useful for children and teenagers with more severe ADHD symptoms; it allows an ADHD brain to function in a better way.

Behavior management techniques will be a crucial component of your teen’s ADHD treatment plan.. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can parents help?

As ADHD can affect children and teenagers for the rest of their lives, the best approach for parents to assist their children is to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ADHD so that their child can be evaluated sooner rather than later. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, treatment alternatives can assist to lessen the disorder’s effects.

Takeaway

If you’re concerned that your toddler may be suffering from ADHD, talk to your pediatrician about how to deal with it. Although, no proper cure for it has been found, medication and lifestyle modifications can assist to alleviate symptoms and increase your child’s chances of future success.

Dr Monika Chhajed

Dr. Monika Chhajed, Consultant - Paediatric Neurologist, Motherhood Chaitanya Hospital, Chandigarh

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