Does My Child Have ADHD or Just High Energy?

Children are hyper by nature. Their minds are running a million miles an hour, and their bodies want to move just as fast. This is why some children with ADHD go undiagnosed, because their symptoms are perceived as ‘normal behavior.’

How can you tell the difference between ADHD and high energy? Should your child get tested for ADHD? The guide below will help you assess your options.

Primary Differences between ADHD and Hyper Behaviors

The key differences between ADHD and high energy are linked to attentiveness and impulse control. An energetic child can focus when prompted, and they can complete a task from start to finish. A child with ADHD may find it nearly impossible to focus, or may get frustrated trying to complete a task. If your child has general impulse control or the ability to do something from start to finish, he or she probably doesn’t have ADHD.

Fun Fact: ADHD Is Not Always Linked with High Energy!

Believe it or not, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder isn’t always linked to hyperactive behavior. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) falls under the umbrella of ADHD. ADD may be characterized by low energy and inattentiveness – no hyperactivity whatsoever. Thus it’s entirely possible to get diagnosed with ADHD without energetic behaviors, just like it’s possible to have high energy without having ADHD.

Learn more: Are ADD and ADHD the Same Thing?

Signs of ADHD

To determine if your child needs ADHD testing or treatment, you must first understand the symptoms. These may appear slightly differently in each child, and they’re not definitive indicators of ADHD. There are other conditions with overlapping symptoms, and a professional evaluation can weed through those symptoms. Common signs of ADHD include:

  • Impulsive behaviors or a lack of impulse control
  • Changing plans without provocation and problems staying on task
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Disorganization and poor planning
  • Restless behavior and fidgeting
  • Trouble with time management and following instructions
  • Interrupting conversations or bringing up new topics entirely
  • Struggles in school or at home in relation to focus-based tasks

If your child exhibits those symptoms, there may be more than hyper energy at play. You can pursue psychological testing to determine what your child’s struggles are and how they can best be addressed.

When to Pursue ADHD Testing

Early diagnosis leads to early, effective treatment. If you’ve noticed signs of ADHD in your child, it may be a good time to get tested. Children can get diagnosed as early as 3-4 years old, but many do not display symptoms until they start school. CNLD Testing & Therapy offers ADHD testing, intervention planning, educational advocacy and ADHD therapy. Our compassionate staff of experienced professionals would be happy to help you navigate this journey.

Contact us at (734) 994-9466 to learn more about ADHD testing or to schedule an ADHD screening for your child.