5 Signs Your Child Could Be Suffering From ADHD

About 6 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to current data from the Centers for Disease Control, marking an increase over previous years for all age groups. One of the reasons why the numbers have increased is because parents, teachers and caregivers have become more cognizant of the behaviors and other “symptoms” that are characteristic of kids with ADHD. This means that more kids are getting properly diagnosed and receiving the medical care they need to help control their symptoms and improve their lives.

Of course, not every child who fidgets or acts out has ADHD, and fortunately, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has laid out the steps a medical professional needs to take before rendering a diagnosis. If you’re wondering if your child might have ADHD, here are five of the most common signs you should be looking for.


Kids with ADHD often act impulsively, without considering the potential consequences, and it may seem like they act out without thinking first. This trait can be especially problematic in teens, where ADHD can cause kids to engage in risky behavior, including dangerous or illegal activities. Decreased impulse control can also reveal itself in more subtle ways, for instance, in making comments that could be hurtful or be lacking in tact.

Trouble taking turns

Kids with ADHD have difficulty organizing their time, and their impulsive nature makes it very difficult for them to wait their turn during games and other activities in school, at home, and in social situations with their friends. In fact, this characteristic can make it more difficult for kids with ADHD to make friends and maintain friendships for long periods of time. An inability to wait their turn also means they’re more likely to interrupt you and others during conversations, including conversations that don’t include them or pertain to them.

Problems focusing

Kids with ADHD have difficulty staying on task, which makes it harder to complete work in school, as well as homework and chores. They can also find it very difficult to get and stay organized with schoolwork, resulting in them often forgetting or misplacing things. Because they have trouble concentrating, kids with ADHD also are more prone to daydreaming.

As a result, many kids with ADHD wind up performing poorly in school, even though they may be very intelligent and capable of completing their work to standard.


Kids with ADHD find it very difficult to sit still and to stay in their seats at school. They seem to be constantly in motion: either walking, running, climbing, pacing or just moving specific parts of their body. For most of us, fidgeting may seem like a sign of inattention and rudeness. But kids with ADHD tend to get bored easily, and because their brains don’t always provide the level of stimulation they need to stay focused and on task, fidgeting may be a way for them to self-stimulate to keep their brains engaged. In fact, in school settings, many kids with ADHD are allowed to have a discreet activity, like use a fidget spinner or twirl a pencil to help keep them focused and engaged.

Emotional lability

Lability is a medical term that means something is in a constant change or more prone to change. In kids with ADHD, their emotions may seem especially powerful, and they may seem like they have little control over them. Many kids with ADHD have frequent emotional outbursts, and even minor issues can become a source for major emotional reactions, like temper tantrums or crying that seems out of proportion to the actual event or issue at hand.

ADHD: Diagnosis and treatment

At Penguin Pediatrics PLLC, we offer complete and comprehensive diagnostic services and treatment options for kids with ADHD. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, we can help you find a behavioral therapist skilled in treating the condition. Plus, we can help you decide if your child could benefit from medication to improve not only their behavior and success in school and social situations, but their self-esteem, self-confidence and quality of life as well. To learn more about ADHD diagnosis and treatment or to have your child evaluated by the team at Penguin Pediatrics PLLC, book an appointment online.

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