Does Your Toddler Have ADHD? How to Tell
As more research is done with kids who have ADD and ADHD, experts are finding that the problems may show up as early as the toddler years, but since toddlers have short attention spans anyway, parents just don’t notice it.
Even young children are capable of paying attention to something they are interested in for a short period of time. When I taught kids’ church, the rule of thumb was a maximum of five minutes of attention per year of age up to about age six or seven.
A little study of your child and how he moves through his day can let you know if you should talk to his health care provider.
Most toddlers will pay attention to a colorful, fast moving television show that is aimed at them. They may lose interest in it after five or ten minutes but will usually come back to it. If your child seems to be unable to focus on the show for long, it could be a sign that there is a problem.
Oddly, many people with ADHD can focus so completely on something that interests them that they are submerged in it and unable to change gears easily. Things that interest your child may capture his attention for unnaturally long periods of time.
ADHD toddlers may have difficulty sustaining eye contact because they can’t concentrate on one thing that long. Their eyes will catch yours for a nano-second and then move dart to something else.
We joke about young children being in constant motion or a bundle of energy, but normally a child will have cycles of activity and rest. ADHD kids will not have those cycles but seem to be “on” all the time.
There are other signs and symptoms that are indicators of ADHD. If you have any concerns, it is best to talk to your doctor.