Difference between ADHD and high energy kids
Many children with ADHD are extremely energetic. However, high energy alone is not enough to diagnose ADHD. Children with some forms of ADHD, like ADD, are very low on energy. In order to be assessed as ADHD, a child must have a chronic problem with his ability to regulate activity level, as well as impairment in their ability to inhibit and control impulses.
Apart from the primary symptoms, there can be additional impairments for ADHD kids that distinguishes them from high energy kids. Here are some of them:
- Children with ADHD often have difficulty processing information. Hyperactive kids may have trouble slowing down enough to process information accurately. This can create problems in a classroom setting where students are expected to make sense of instruction and respond to it quickly and accurately.
- ADHD kids may become frustrated or overwhelmed easily and have trouble regulating their emotions. This can cause problems with social relationships, leading to a sense of isolation and lowered self-esteem.
- Kids with ADHD struggle with executive function issues like organizing, planning, prioritizing, paying attention and remembering details. These issues can become problematic in academic, as well as extra-curricular activities.
- ADHD kids also tend to be less mature developmentally than their peers at that age. An 11-year old with ADHD may think and behave more like a young child, than like a rising teenager. ADHD kids may lack the judgment they need to make smart choices about friendships, risk-taking, and potentially harmful activities.
If you see an energetic child who finds it hard to sit still, there are chances of him displaying some signs of ADHD. What tells him apart is his ability to control impulses and emotions, paying attention and responding appropriately in school and home. While the core symptoms that define ADHD can include hyperactivity along with impulsivity and inattention, not all kids with ADHD will have these symptoms in the same way. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, it might be a good idea to check in with your pediatrician.