It is important when looking for warning signs of ADD/ADHD to keep in consideration your child’s age and what is typical behavior for other children in that age bracket. Also, always use your doctor as a go-to if you believe your child may be at risk.
Physical Activity Warning Signs:
If your child is unable to sit still, and has uncontrollable energy then this may be one indicator. Perhaps, your child is constantly fidgeting and shaking their feet or hands.
One common occurrence in school for children with ADHD is their inability to stay quiet and attentive during circle time. Often, they will speak out, forget to raise their hands and fidget.
Attention Span Warning Signs:
If your child is unable to pay attention or stay focused on one activity, it may be a warning sign. Also, trouble getting started on a task, and feeling overwhelmed are common in children with ADD/ADHD.
If your child is easily distracted by noise, movement and other senses, and continually starts new activities without finishing them, then this may be a warning. For instance, if you are reading a story to your child and he is continually distracted by the very light humming of the fan beside him, then perhaps he is having difficulty controlling his colliding senses.
Impulsive Behavior Warning Signs:
If your child is overly impatient and eager for attention at home and in school and often disrupts and cannot wait their turn this may be a sign to look further into ADD/ADHD. Also, if you try to adjust your child’s behavior through discipline and discussion and the disruptive behavior does not stop, it may be harder for your child to control the behavior than you think. Poor listening and inability to follow direction is also a key indicator.
Bedtime Warning Signs:
Signs of bedtime problems that may be associated with ADD/ADHD include, not being able to stay still when trying to fall asleep, restlessness, sleepwalking, waking up often in the night and an overall hatred for bedtime.
These are just some basic warning signs of ADD/ADHD, and if your child shows one or two warning signs, it does not mean that he/she will be diagnosed. When my son was three, I began wondering if perhaps he was at risk for ADD. He had difficulty staying on task, and would take out a million toys and not actually play with any. However, once he started preschool, his teacher said he was a great listener and usually stayed on task. Then, overtime, I found that my son needed more discipline and structure to adjust his behavior. Always discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.