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What Are Some Indications that My Child May Have ADHD?

What Are Some Indications that My Child May Have ADHD?

Does your child exhibit behaviors that you think could be indicators of an ADHD diagnosis? George Sachs, Psy.D., shares ADHD symptoms and behaviors to look for, as well as the difference between ADHD and ADD.

What are some indications that my child may have ADHD?

When you think of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably picture a boy sitting on his hands at his desk at school, jumping around at home, and generally an intrusive nuisance to those around him. And, this type of behavior may very well be an indication of ADHD. But it’s not the only indication.

There are actually three different kinds of ADHD: hyperactive/impulsive, inattentive, and a combination of the two. The boy in the example above is demonstrating classic hyperactive/impulsive behaviors, in that he’s exhibiting high amounts of physical activity in a context that generally requires greater stillness. His restlessness adds to his hyperactivity as well. Impulsive behaviors include interrupting people and suddenly leaving a situation without any discernable reason.

But, inattentive behaviors are significant as well. This includes behaviors such as daydreaming, not paying attention to someone while they’re talking, and consistently showing up late for meetings or appointments. This seems to undermine the expectations of hyperactivity—indeed, a child can be quite calm as they drift off into their dream world, but it is quite possible that a child’s deficits manifest in these other, more serene ways.

Often, however, a child will experience a combination of both hyperactivity/impulsiveness and inattentiveness. If your child tunes out of conversations, can’t sit still, interrupts others, makes disruptive noises, and exhibits other behaviors indicating hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, then most therapists are likely to diagnose them with ADHD.


Is there a difference between ADHD and ADD?

ADHD and ADD actually refer to the same condition. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is the technical term used for the disorder associated with people who struggle with hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and/or inattentiveness. It is the term formally recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, is a term that was more commonly accepted in the past. It now it takes on a less formal, less clinically acceptable quality.


George Sachs, Psy.D.


George Sachs, Psy.D., founder of the Sachs Center, which focuses on testing and treating children, teens, and adults with ADD, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders, is a licensed clinical child and adult psychologist, specializing in the treatment of ADD, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders in children, teens, and adults. Dr. Sachs participated in clinical training in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, and the Child Study Center in Manhattan. He completed his training at the Children’s Institute in Los Angeles. Dr. Sachs consulted to Juilliard in New York City, providing counseling to their dance, drama, and orchestral students.

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