How do you deal with a hyperactive toddler? Is there any way to know if they are at risk for developing ADHD?

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It is common for children to be full of energy and always moving around. To be diagnosed with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a child will display symptoms of one of the three types of ADHD. The symptoms for each type include (taken from Inattentive type (child must display six out of nine symptoms) - Not paying attention to detail - Making careless mistakes - Failing to pay attention and keep on task - Not listening - Being unable to follow or understand instructions - Avoiding tasks that involve effort - Being distracted - Being forgetful - Losing things that are needed to complete tasks Hyperactive-impulsive type (child must display six out of nine symptoms) - Fidgeting - Squirming - Getting up often when seated - Running or climbing at inappropriate times - Having trouble playing quietly - Talking too much - Talking out of turn or blurting out - Interrupting - Often “on the go” as if “driven by a motor” Combined type (Shows symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types) In general, the key point to note in trying to figure out if a child has ADHD is whether or not he/she suffers any impairment in their ability to inhibit and control impulses, which often affects his/her learning or function. For example, a chld with ADHD finds it difficult to process information. He/she is unable to “slow down” to take in the information. This poses as an issue in the classroom since children are expected to make sense of the information within a short period of time. Another common problem a child with ADHD faces is a struggle with execution functions such as organizing, planning, prioritizing, paying attention to and remembering details. A child with ADHD often also becomes easily overwhelmed and frustrated, and has trouble regulating their emotions. To sum up, if your child is energetic and have difficulty sitting still, but is still able to control his/her impulses and emotions, pay attention and respond appropriately in school and to others, it is unlikely that he/she has ADHD. If you suspect your child of having ADHD, consult a doctor or psychologist or psychiatrist for a formal evaluation. For more information, you can refer to this article:

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Developmentally, ADHD is not diagnosed till children are at least 6-7 years of age, although many are hyperactive before then. However, keep in mind that toddlers are expected to be very active anyway. Parenting strategies can be put in place to manage high activity levels, including having a structured routine for the day, ensuring sufficient sleep (ie. typically close to 12 hours of sleep for preschoolers), sufficient space to run around in to use up their energy (as many of our children are confined indoors for most of the day) etc. Many children who are sleep deprived appear 'high' even though they are very tired. They are trying to keep moving to keep themselves awake. Some parents notice their children being much more active after a sugar hit - this is a physiological reaction. It is usually easy to avoid high sugar items.

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Hi Bianca, based on my personal experience. It is hard for us parents to know the difference of normal hyperactivity vs ADHD. I used to think my children has ADHD. But then again, it is so hard to conclude. So I asked the help of our pediatrician. He told me that I should avoid sweets. Normally parents tend to assocciate the hyperactivity to ADHD but it was just the sweets that is the culprit! But if you need assurance better yet to consult a pediatrician then your pediatrician will might suggest a psychologist to assess your child. Also may I add that we parents should refrain from holding our children back from what interests them. Sometimes we suppressed them not knowing it. Hope this could help! :)

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entirely agree with jo-an. sometimes we over worry. But we're not the ones best suited to make that claim for our kids. It's best to talk to a paediatrician and take it from there!

Just for your peace of mind, you may take her to a Developmental Pediatrician :)