How Do You Differentiate Between A Normally Active Child And A Child Who Has Adhd?

When you are looking into whether or not your own child or student has adhd or is energetic it can be difficult to differentiate between the two without knowing the fine line between them. Every child on earth will have at least one symptom that could point towards them having adhd, however to be diagnosed there are at least 6 symptoms that they must meet on a list to be considered and the behaviour must have been continual for a minimum of 6 months. The symptoms on their own will stand out over other children of the same age and the behaviour they display must be shown to make life difficult in at least 2 settings including home, school and/or work.

If you don’t meet the severity of having struggled in two different settings, the problem hasn’t continued for 6 months or does not affect everyday life then the chances are it is not adhd, so do take care in medicating a child that doesn’t fit the criteria as this can be not only unhealthy but dangerous.

Unlike things like bad behaviour through disruption at home or school is not a cause for adhd and having too much or little sugar or sweetener is not a cause. TV and video games you will be pleased to know are also not a cause. Children with adhd are born that way so there’s nothing you can do to prevent it however there are things you can do to make life easier for them.

Gifted and bored vs adhd

Children with adhd can be just as bright if not brighter than their peers they just struggle to get down what they have in their head on paper. A child that is bored in school due to not being challenged may appear to show adhd symptoms but in fact just need more challenge. These children are likely to show the following behaviours:

  • Lack of attention and daydreaming when nothing to do
  • Moody when asked to do persistent tasks that don’t challenge them
  • Needs less sleep/rest than others
  • Disruptive in class
  • Appearance of carelessness in their work
  • Problem behaviour only present in some situations or settings

An ADHD child will have:

  • Lack of attention
  • Lack of desire to continue with tasks that don’t give immediate reward
  • Moves from task to task even if one or both are never completed
  • Struggles to follow commands
  • A lot more active and restless than their peers
  • Excessive talking and interrupting when inappropriate despite being told
  • Struggles to stick to rules
  • Loses their items that are needed for home or school activities whether it’s stationary, pe kit or something else.
  • Doesn’t seem to pay attention to detail
  • Extremely sensitive to others criticising them even if they know they haven’t tried their best

Behaviour that affects every single setting they are in regardless of the task in hand but in some settings you may find that the behaviour is worse than in others.