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Evaluating your Child for ADHD: How to Evaluate The Symptoms in Your Kids

Updated on October 30, 2012

Most parents of children with ADHD didn't know right away that their children had this condition. ADHD has many different symptoms and there are actually different types of ADHD with different symptoms. It's rarely cut and dry. Some kids may exhibit some of the symptoms but they might not be to a degree that warrants getting worried about the possibility of ADHD. When it boils down to it, the parents' gut instinct that something is wrong is usually what leads to asking a doctor to evaluate a child for ADHD. However, informed parents can look out for the symptoms of ADHD to help them decide whether or not they need to take the child in for such an evaluation.

As a parent you should know that there are three different kinds of ADHD which each have different symptoms. There is ADHD with hyperactivity, ADHD with impulsivity and ADHD with inattention. I won't get in to the different symptoms for each specific kind of ADHD but just be aware that your child exhibiting a combination of the following symptoms of ADHD doesn't necessarily mean that he or she has ADHD as symptoms here are combined amongst the different kinds of ADHD. Some of the symptoms that you'll want to look for in your child when deciding whether or not to have an ADHD evaluation done by a professional include:

  • Always appears to be "in another world" when being spoken to.
  • Can't stay seated when asked.
  • Difficulty following directions.
  • Gets distracted very easily.
  • Inability to pay attention to detail on tasks like homework.
  • Inability to wait in line or wait for his/her turn in activities.
  • Inappropriately runs around, climbs on things and won't stop when told.
  • Intentionally avoids or expresses dislike for activities that require focus.
  • Is fidgety, squirmy or restless.
  • Regularly misplaces items.
  • Talks excessively, interrupting others.
  • Tends to be forgetful.

• Trouble focusing even on fun things like play activities.

You should be aware that many of these behaviors are perfectly normal for children, especially when doing something they don't particularly like such as chores and homework. Additionally, there should only be cause for concern after the symptoms have been exhibited on a regular basis for more than six months. However, if you read through this list and see a large number of things that apply to your child and your gut is telling you to get it checked out, you might want to start thinking more seriously about having an ADHD evaluation done.

One of the major reasons that parents hold off on an evaluation is that they are afraid of their child getting inappropriately labeled with ADHD and being put on unnecessary medication. If your gut is telling you that something isn't quite right with your child, your gut will also tell you if the diagnosis and treatment are wrong. Listen carefully to yourself, do a lot of research and you and your child will be just fine.


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  • Marktech profile image

    Marktech 10 years ago

    I am glad I found out I was ADHD. I just wish I found out earlier, while I was still a kid, if I had, I think my life would have been better. Still better late than never.

    Great info, useful links...thanks for taking the time to research this!