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  1. #1

    ADHD or just hyperactive?

    Hi,
    I was wondering is there any way to distinguish if a child’s hyperactivity is a sign of ADHD or not?
    What is the main difference between a ‘hyperactive’ child with ADHD and a hyperactive/overactive child with no such disorder? Is it possible for a parent to tell?
    Looking forward to your replies.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    I do think it is possible for a parent to tell, but I also think that some parents may be unsure if their child really has ADHD or not. My oldest son has ADHD, as well as several other mental health conditions. For us, we knew that it was more than just being "a boy" when he was around the age of four. Some people still say things like he is just being "a boy" or he just has a lot of energy. We have taken him to several doctors and received more information with each doctor we have seen, which has helped us learn more about his mental health/behavioral/emotional issues, and it is helping us learn how to help him.

    For ADHD, there are a few things to look for:

    Inattention

    not listening when spoken too
    cannot complete tasks
    is easily distracted
    often loses things
    does not want to participate in activities that require a lot of effort or work

    Hyperactivity

    fidgets often
    difficulty sitting still
    running or climbing everything, all the time
    excessive talking
    blurting out answers
    gets out of seat often
    always seems to be "on the go" or powered by a motor

    These are just some symptoms of ADHD and it can seem confusing to know whether your child is just very energetic and loves to play, or if your child truly has ADHD. For my son, things are a bit different as he has other mental health issues, but he is constantly moving, he fidgets in his seat, cannot sit through dinner, paces and runs a lot, climbs on everything and often jumps off of things. He also cannot focus on one task (unless it is video games). He talks a lot, and will often interrupt others and repeat the same thing over and over until he gets your attention. He also jumps from topic to topic rather quickly at times.

    I sometimes think that the term ADHD is often overused these days, but I also believe it is a real condition that some children and adults have, so it is definitely something that can be helped with therapy and/or medications. Is your child in school or homeschooled? I think it is important to learn techniques to help the child, which may require giving the child breaks during the day, giving them fidget toys to play with, etc. If you are concerned about ADHD, I would definitely speak with your doctor.

    Here is some more information about ADHD from the Austalian Psychological Society.

  3. #3
    Thank you so much for all the information! Apparently she has all the hyperactivity symptoms and this is what bothers me. She also moves from one thing to another so quickly I can’t even follow. She’s changing positions and moving around all the time.. even when watching a movie or eating, which would drive me crazy sometimes. On the other hand (and this is what I hold on to) she is able to concentrate when drawing for example and she could spend half an hour doing that. She would also participate in anything and everything with enthusiasm … although she loses interest pretty quickly.
    I think lots of children have these `symptoms` without being labeled as ADHD and I don’t want to stress her to see doctors for these if it’s not necessary. Otherwise she’s a happy child, full of energy and ideas and I don’t want to take it away for no real reason, so I’m trying to get some answers for my own piece of mind.

  4. #4
    New Member

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    Apr 2012
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    I just wanted to find out if ADHD is genetic as my daughters father has it but thank goodness has learnt to cope with it, so if anyone could please help me on this.

    Bridgette

  5. #5
    That's an interesting question and one which, I believe, is still subject to debate. This news article discusses some 2010 research into whether ADHD has a genetic cause. It seems this study has shown some differences in the DNA of those who had ADHD compared to the control group. However, this was not the case for all those who had ADHD, therefore, some experts believe environmental factors are more significant.

    Sorry I couldn't give you a definitive answer but the research is still going on into this subject.

    LJ

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