Many toddlers are naturally hyper, moody and distractible. Children under age 6 cannot be diagnosed with ADHD; it’s difficult to say if problematic behavior is related to ADHD, or an emotional or other disorder. Another thing to keep in mind is that no imaging or lab tests are used to diagnose ADHD. Doctors make diagnoses based on behavioral symptoms and by ruling out other disorders. Be watchful for these early symptoms:
- If your child seems inattentive it can really mean he is just focused on something that interests him more than what you’re trying to call attention to. Toddlers with ADHD are frequently labeled inattentive when they’re actually hyperfocused. Children may rush from one activity to another, seeking something to absorb themselves in.
- All kids display sleep problems, but a child with ADHD will sleep much less than the amount recommended (12 to 14 hours). While parents end up exhausted, kids with ADHD will appear unaffected by sleep deficiency. Additionally, kids with ADHD will resist sitting still for most things, even meals.
- Food Sensitivities
- Many toddlers with ADHD suffer from food sensitivities. Parents are advised to eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners, food coloring and preservatives from their child’s diets. Some parents take things even further by removing wheat, egg, dairy, soy, chocolate and corn.
- Personal Space Issues and Impulsivity
- One early symptom of ADHD is difficulty accepting personal space. Related to this are communication problems, like loud and incessant talking, or the inability to let another person speak. Young children with ADHD will also act before considering consequences, which is why these specific symptoms often develop into issues with impulsivity.
Chinese herbs also show positive effects on ADHD symptoms. A study comparing a Chinese herbal formula versus Ritalin showed the same benefits with fewer side effects.
Use of herbal remedies for ADHD shows beneficial results without the risk of abuse found in pharmacological medications and usually with significantly less side effects. Herbalists may recommend other supplementation and dietary changes in addition to herbs in the treatment of ADHD.