|Does my little boy have ADHD?
Don’t panic, you might just have an overactive toddler. Only 1 in 20 toddlers have ADHD; four to seven times more boys. Your ‘hyper’ toddler might show signs of ADHD but occasionally the over activity is a normal manifestation of high intelligence combined with surplus energy. This will calm down when his nervous system matures.
In most cases children diagnosed with ADHD are high strung infants who cried a lot and were very sensitive to various stimuli such as sound. Your child’s behaviour up until the age of three will be taken into consideration but a diagnosis isn’t generally confirmed until the age of five. However, it is important to monitor your child’s behaviour from infancy to detect signs of ADHD from early on. Here are some signs to look out for:
• Easily distracted
• Sensitive to sound
• Difficulty following simple instructions
• Frequent outbursts
• Reckless behaviour
• Resist adult authority
• Overly talkative and interrupts others
• Trouble sitting still
The exact causes of ADHD are unknown, but scientists think the parts of the brain that regulate behaviour and self-control are involved. Gender and genetics may also play a role, and having a family history of the condition increases the risk that your little one may have it too. Other risk factors include:
• Having a sibling or parent with another mental-health disorder
• Being exposed to environmental toxins such as lead, found mostly in paint and pipes in old buildings
• Maternal alcohol use or smoking during pregnancy
• Maternal exposure to environmental poisons such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
• Premature birth
• Serious head injuries before the age of two
Please visit your GP for proper testing and peace of mind.