ADHD Symptoms with Checklist,
Causes and Treatments

Child displaying ADHD symptoms

Learn the most common ADHD symptoms, such as poor listening skills and impulsive behavior as well as the best treatments available. Attention deficit disorder symptoms have increased by 3% diagnosed each year from 1997 to 2006, as indicated by ADHD statistics, making this information even more important than ever.

My biggest concern is with the use of certain stimulant medications that, when given for the wrong reasons due to a possible misdiagnosis, can cause undesirable side effects. I personally feel that although medication can be helpful there are other alternatives and possible causes of symptoms that should always be investigated and exhausted first.

You may wish to start by using the signs of ADHD checklist as well as reviewing the information related to sensory processing disorder symptoms. This disorder has symptoms that are very similar, but ADHD treatments can vary greatly from those for SPD. You may also find the information in my free eBook Child Behavior Guide: What you need to know to be helpful as well.

What is ADHD?

Also an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the three main types are:

  • Combined(the most common type), which involves inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
  • Inattentive (Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms - ADD), which involves mainly inattention and inability to concentrate
  • Hyperactive-impulsive, which is involves mainly hyperactivity and impulsivity without inattentiveness

Signs of ADHD

Signs include difficulties paying attention for long periods of time, but this is often more of a selective attention, in which things that are considered interesting are not hard to pay attention to. There may also be frequent displays of hyperactive behavior, such as fidgeting, pacing, impulsivity and excessive talking. To learn more specific ADHD symptoms as defined by the DSM-IV be sure to click on the link above or download the free ADHD checklist.

Checklist for ADHD Symptoms

ADHD checklist

The ADHD checklist is a great starting point for determining whether your child may need further evaluation from a psychologist or developmental pediatrician.

Reviewing symptoms for a sensory disorder provides even more information about why your child may showing challenging behavior and/or having difficulties concentrating in school.

ADHD Screening

The best ADHD screening will involve checklists, including the child behavior checklist, ADHD tests, interviews and specialized behavior rating scales, such as the Conner's rating scale. Thorough screening is especially important when trying to avoid a misdiagnosis because there are many other conditions that have similar symptoms.

ADHD Misdiagnosis

Learn the most common conditions that may lead to a misdiagnosis, such as poor diet, not getting the recommended hours of sleep, and an underlying sensory processing disorder. Many times a child may even have a food allergy or food sensitivity that could be causing symptoms.

One possibility that is more typically found by Integrative medical professionals would be that a child is actually displaying symptoms of candida overgrowth (yeast), which causes brain fog and irritability.

 ADHD in Toddlers

Many parents worry about behaviors, such as hyperactivity and inability to sit still and focus on sedentary activities in their toddler. There may also be incidents of biting, toddler temper tantrums, and hitting, especially in boys. However, depending on the severity of these ADHD symptoms, they are not always an indication of the developing disorder. For more information about this be sure to click the link above.

Causes of ADHD

Causes of symptoms are a bit controversial depending on who you speak to about the subject. There appears to be a correlation between sleep, diet, exposure to toxins in the womb and at a young age, and also a hereditary component.

I have found the book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies by Kenneth Bock M.D. and Cameron Stauth to have the most thorough and detailed information about a combination of reasons for the increasing trend in ADHD among our society. You can read more about this book on the Child Behavior Help Resources page.

Coexisting Behavior Disorders

Often times there are coexisting behavior disorders that occur with ADHD symptoms. All of these are referred for mental health treatment services more than any other disorders of childhood and are the most commonly diagnosed.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder in children is a repeated display of defiant, disobedient, and argumentative behavior toward authority figures that persists for at least six months. It is more than just having to deal with your typical defiant children and includes symptoms, such as frequent anger, resentment, and arguing with others.

Treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Treatment for ODD will usually include parent skills training, behavioral interventions, and whatever ADHD treatments may already be occurring. Applying special techniques for working with defiant children may also be beneficial if the symptoms are not severe.

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder involves the persistent display of specific aggressive and destructive behaviors over a period of at least six months. Many children with this diagnosis will eventually become diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Aggression towards people and animals, property destruction, violation of rules and deceitfulness or theft are the main categories of symptoms that define this disorder.

ADHD Treatment

Free Ebook child behavior problem

Treatment typically involves behavioral interventions, psychotropic medications, and interventions specifically related to school behavior.

Reading my free eBook, Taming Your Child's Inner Tiger, provides ways to prevent ADHD symptoms and is a great place to start. Also using a reinforcement program, such as ADHD behavior charts has proven to be very effective for certain behaviors.

Diet for ADHD

One type of treatment for ADHD symptoms is a special diet. This may be simply adding more foods with omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements and limiting foods high in sugar and caffeine. Eliminating artificial colors, such as red dye 40 that can cause ADHD symptoms, makes a big difference as well.

It could also mean looking for undetected food allergies or sensitivities that are causing symptoms. One of the most restrictive diets for ADHD is the Feingold Diet, but it reportedly has very good results in eliminating symptoms.

Gluten Free Casein Free Diet

Although the gluten casein free diet is often an autism treatment, it can also be very beneficial for children with ADHD symptoms. This is due to the opiate theory, which you can read more about by clicking on the link above.

What’s important is that you discover the best treatment options for your child. Gathering information about symptoms is the best place to start and shows that you care about your child’s best interest and want the best ADHD treatments available.

Integrated Listening Systems

If you are looking for a way to improve sleeping, attention, memory, and cognition, research has shown this particular method to be very effective. As an associate myself, I can say that I have witnessed profound results with this program. Review information about it at the link above. Please contact me through the website if you are interested in doing the program with your own child. You do need a supervising associate to complete the program, which is possible to do through Skype or by phone and email. However, I am only taking a limited number of clients for this program at one time.


1. Centers for disease control and prevention. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Data & Statistics. 9/9/10.

2. Barkoukis, A., Reiss, N. S., Dombeck, M. (2008). Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses. Disorders of Childhood: Attention-Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders. 11-30-09.

3. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Fourth edition---text revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association,100-102.