7 Early Signs of ADHD in Boys Posted on April 14, 2017, updated on March 2, 2022 by Gateway Counseling ADHD is a problem that affects many of today’s children. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11% of American children have ADHD. Despite the prevalence of the disorder, it often goes undiagnosed until it has affected a child in school or socially. Fortunately, there are some early symptoms. Knowing them can help you seek help for your child. Here are some early signs of ADHD in boys that you can look for. ADHD in Toddlers It’s not often that healthcare providers diagnose ADHD in toddlers. Many of the early signs of ADHD in boys, especially in boys under 3, are typical behaviors for any toddler. That said, parent’s intuition is often right. If you your child has symptoms of ADHD and you’re concerned, you should contact your healthcare provider. ADHD is characterized by a lack of focus- a difficulty paying attention. But toddlers typically have a short attention span. There aren’t many toddlers who can sit for any length of time or focus on one thing for an extended period (or even a short period). So how can you tell when a toddler has ADHD? You need to take a close look at his behavior. Early Signs of ADHD in Boys Over 3 After the age of 3, there are a few key signs of the disorder. These include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. But once again, these are all typical traits for children these ages. The difference between typical children and ones with ADHD is a little less obvious. You have to look at how your child plays and how he interacts with others. If his lack of focus is preventing him from participating in age-appropriate activities, he may have ADHD. Here are a few symptoms and questions that can help you to determine if your child might have ADHD: 1. Fidgeting Does your son fidget often? Does he squirm while he sits? If your answer to this is no, he may have ADHD. Children with ADHD often squirm and fidget. 2. Inability to Sit Still Can your son sit still during meals or while you read a book? Does he know when it’s time to be still? If your answer to this question is yes, there’s a chance ADHD may be the culprit. Children with ADHD have a very hard time sitting still for any calm activities. 3. Constant talking Does your son constantly talk or make noises? If your answer to this is yes, ADHD is a possibility. When a child has ADHD, he might talk incessantly. 4. Running Between Toys Does your child sit and play with one toy, or does he run from toy to toy? ADHD might be at play if he can’t play with one toy for a length of time. 5. Aggressive Behavior When Playing Does your child throw toys? Although almost every child has a destructive streak, children with ADHD are particularly aggressive when they play. 6. Lack of Caution with New People Does your child run up to strangers? While most children have a healthy fear of strangers, children with ADHD have no fear of strangers. 7. Fearlessness Is your child fearless to the point that he puts himself in danger? If so, then he may have ADHD. Children with the disorder often have no fear. They will do things like jumping from a high surface without giving it a second thought. It’s important to realize that a child with ADHD doesn’t always exhibit all of these symptoms. And even if your child does have any of these symptoms, he might not have ADHD. It’s also worth mentioning that girls have different symptoms than boys. This list talks about the early signs of ADHD in boys, but not girls. The disorder presents itself in many different ways, so there is no one checklist you can look at to diagnose your son. The best way to find out whether or not your child has ADHD is to see a healthcare professional. What Can You Do If You Suspect ADHD? Young children can be diagnosed with ADHD, but they need to see the right healthcare professionals. A child behavior and development specialist or a child psychiatrist can help you get a diagnosis. If your child exhibits some of the early signs of ADHD in boys, there is help available. Many parents worry that an ADHD diagnosis means medicine. But that’s not always the case. Working with a healthcare provider, you can learn about different ways to manage your son’s ADHD. Diet plays a major part in ADHD. An organized diet plan can handle some of the symptoms of ADHD. For example, Red Dye is an ingredient in many food items and can cause hyperactivity in children with the disorder. Other treatments include therapy, and exercise plans. You can even learn how to organize your home differently so your child can cope better.