ADHD in Toddler - Early Signs & Symptoms, Tips to Diagnose ADHD, Treatment Options
Created by G. Vaishnavi Updated on Mar 07, 2020
Toddlers are known to be tough to handle. After all, they don’t call it the ‘terrible twos’ for nothing! However, if you do notice your little one being too cranky, fussy or breaking rules too often at home, it's not something you must let go. These are not just signs of misbehavior mommies! There could be more. You child might be signaling a condition called ADHD.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a very common condition among kids. This happens when your toddler has no control of his behavior or actions, often leading to hyperactive or impulsive outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD across the globe. Some early ADHD symptoms can be identified if you closely observe your child. Read What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome in Children
Symptoms of ADHD In Toddlers
While being a parent might not make you capable enough to identify this condition in your child, there are some early ADHD symptoms you can watch out for. Here are some tell-tale symptoms of ADHD in toddlers.
InattentiveIn this case, the child is permanently inattentive and is easily distracted. The precursor of this is known to be ADD, a case where no hyperactivity or impulsiveness is noted. Such toddlers lack attention in any activity, be it games or learning, are unable to follow instructions, avoids activities that involve cognitive efforts, unable to focus and have trouble organizing things, like stacking building blocks etc.
HyperactivityToddlers with this condition are known to be hyperactive, in the sense that they cannot sit in one place and focus on a particular task. They sprint around with no regards to the place or people. Babbling, talking loudly even when asked to stay quiet, fidgeting with things, running around and jumping are some of the other tell-tale signs you must watch out for
ImpulsivenessToddlers with ADHD are rash and impulsive in their reactions. They lack patience and are unable to wait for their turn in a queue or while playing a game. Intruding those speaking around, whether it is toddlers or adults, answering even before the question is completed, playing rash and reckless games and snatching are some common early ADHD signs among toddlers. Read more signs & symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder
Tips to Diagnose Early Signs of ADHD in Your Kids
While these are some of the early signs of ADHD in children, there is one thing you must keep in mind- unlike the symptoms of hyperactivity or inattentive behavior, which may not last long, symptoms of ADHD last for at least six months. Here are some tips to diagnose ADHD in your child..
- Asking too many questions pertaining to a topic and not remembering the answers
- The preschooler loses countless lunch boxes and water bottles
- The preschool teachers and caretakers use words such as hyperactive, reckless, or extremely aloof to describe his classroom behavior
- He or she does not remember what was done at school
How To Diagnose ADHD In Your Child
Toddlers as young as two years can be diagnosed with ADHD. While there is no one test that will detect the issue, there are a series of medical examinations that doctors or specialist psychiatrists, or psychologists will conduct.
General ObservationThis is the first and foremost step to finding out if a child is suffering from ADHD. However, several typical toddler behavioural traits overlap with ADHD symptoms. So, doctors ask parents and teachers to be extra observant. Symptoms of ADHD are noted with date, place, and time. This helps the doctor detect a pattern, determining the disorder
HereditaryLike in any other illness, ADHD can also be hereditary. Inheritance of ADHD gene can be one of the biggest reasons for ADHD in pre-schoolers and toddlers. Studies reveal that ADHD runs in the genes and is most common in toddlers when the parent or the sibling has it
Interviewing the parent or the teacherParents and teachers are the first to know about a kid, be it good or bad. Just like how a mother and a teacher exactly know what a kid is good at, they are also the first ones to identify a change in behaviour. So, it is not uncommon for doctors to interview parents or teachers to know more about the toddler. This is one of the best ways to identify ADHD in toddlers
ADHD Treatment Options
ADHD in toddlers and pre-schoolers is not rare or incurable. Managing the disorder efficiently is the first step to cure. Here’s how to deal with ADHD.
- When behavioural therapy fails, doctors resort to medicines like stimulants and non-stimulants. While stimulants mimic neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) such as dopamine, non-stimulants tackle specific symptoms such as hyperactivity and inattentiveness
- Vision training to improve vision and reduce inattentiveness
- Reducing the toddler’s sugar consumption
- Vitamins and mineral supplements, which are often given as a natural remedy for ADHD in toddlers
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