How to Recognize If Your Child Has ADHD?

You may suspect your child has trouble learning because of Attention – Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or, as it’s more commonly referred to as ADHD or ADD. The signs and symptoms of ADHD usually appear in children before the age of seven. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to distinguish between ADHD and normal childhood activity. Therefore, it’s important to know some of the signs to look out for. Children with ADHD may be inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive (ADD). They can also be hyperactive and impulsive, but able to pay attention. Finally, they can struggle with being inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive. The third description of ADHD is the most common type and the most easily recognizable.

Symptoms of inattention in children include, but are not limited to:


• Having trouble staying focused,

• Getting easily distracted or bored with a task before it’s completed,

• Appearing not to listen when spoken to,

• Having difficulty remembering things and following instructions,

• Doesn’t pay attention to details or makes careless mistakes,

• Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead and finishing projects,

• And frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys or other items.

Symptoms of hyperactivity in children include, but are not limited to:

• Constantly fidgeting and squirming,

• Having difficulty sitting still, playing quietly or relaxing,

• Moving around constantly (they often run and climb inappropriately),

• Talking excessively,

• And having a quick temper or short ‘fuse’.

Symptoms of impulsivity in children include, but are not limited to:


• Acting without thinking,

• Guessing, rather than taking time to solve a problem,

• Blurting out answers in class without waiting to be called on or to hear the whole question,

• Intruding on other people’s games or conversations,

• Interrupting others,

• Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time,

• And an inability to keep powerful emotions controlled, resulting in angry outbursts or tempers tantrums.

If your child has these signs and symptoms, request an assessment by a licensed psychologist like the ones we have at Paradox Psychological Services. Our comprehensive evaluations and testing for ADHD can ensure that your child receives an accurate diagnosis that is not mistaken for a learning disorder, anxiety or other challenges. In the testing process you’ll learn about your child’s learning style and how to create helpful school, home and homework routines for success.

During an assessment process with a licensed psychologist, specific interventions and therapy for ADHD will be discussed for your child. Currently, the most established interventions therapy for ADHD children is a combination of behavior therapy, executive functions skills couching and parent training. When children stop taking their ADHD medications, the benefits stop working. So, learning tools and behavioral techniques can help a child overcome obstacles when they are not taking their medication.

Furthermore, behavior therapy for ADHD children can help them learn skills that will continue to benefit them as they grow up. Parent training involves working with children and parents together. It helps parents interact differently with their children in order to encourage desirable behavior on the part of the child.

In addition to behavior therapy for ADHD, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help children develop awareness about their behavior and create new strategies to cope with it. This is called metacognition and is an awareness of thoughts and experiences. And this leads to the ability to stop and think before taking action.

Child and teen therapy at Paradox Psychological Services includes behavior therapy, executive function skills coaching, and CBT for children with ADHD. We focus on reducing parental stress and enhancing parent‑child interactions. If you suspect your child has ADHD, contact us at (760) 683‑9013 or visit our website at: We are here to support you and your child.

About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychoeducational testing and therapy services to help build a plan for success. Paradox provides services for families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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