Behavior Signs of ADHD: Parents Should Not Diagnose, But They Do Need To Know the Signs


by Dr. Zach Petter, DC

It can be challenging to match the behavior you observe in your child with medical terms such as ADHD, but with 1 out of every 9 children in the U.S. being diagnosed with ADHD, parents often wonder about a potential diagnosis. A misbehaving hyperactive child may be mistaken for having ADHD, whereas others suffer from the disorder but never receive a formal diagnosis.

It is important for parents to be aware of behaviors associated with learning and behavioral disorders, specifically ADHD, so they can better determine when it might be time to have their child evaluated. While many of the behaviors listed below are common in children, parents of children with ADHD will observe them more frequently, on a daily basis and for extended periods of time.


Children with ADHD often are perceived as “high energy.” Signs include fidgeting with their hands and feet, getting up from their seat when expected to remain seated and difficulty remaining quiet when participating in leisurely activities.

Lack of Attention

An inattentive child has trouble paying close attention to detail, has difficulty following directions, struggles with organization skills and does not seem to listen when addressed. Other symptoms include failing to complete assigned tasks, misplacing items such as toys, school work, books, etc. and forgetfulness along with distraction throughout the day.

Food Sensitivities

Many children with ADHD suffer from a variety of food sensitivities. While any food can be problematic and aggravate the underlying condition, common food sensitivities include gluten and dairy products. The best way to observe food reactions is to keep a food and behavior log. This will allow you to pinpoint which foods trigger your child’s symptoms.

Impulsive Behavior

A child with ADHD will likely talk excessively and often has trouble waiting his or her turn, which leads to blurting out responses that can be inappropriate. Examples of this include taking over games, cutting into conversations and overreaction to seek attention, all of which make it challenging to make friends.

If you are concerned that your child is displaying some of these signs frequently and in various settings, you may have reason to suspect the disorder. It is important, however, to not assume that your child has ADHD without an expert evaluation.

Dr. Zach Petter, DCDr. Zach Petter, DC, and his wife Amanda own Brain Balance Achievement Centers of San Antonio. Brain Balance helps children reach their academic, behavioral and social potential through a unique drug-free, whole-child approach. The Brain Balance Program utilizes customized sensory motor and cognitive activity plans, coupled with nutrition guidelines, to address the root cause of most learning and developmental disorders. Brain Balance Achievement Centers of San Antonio is located at 1742 N. Loop 1604 E., Suite 121. To learn more, visit or call 210-620-7378.

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