My Child Can’t Sit Still

My Child Can’t Sit Still

Whether your child is trying to sit through dinner, an in-person class, or a virtual lesson, fidgeting and wiggling can certainly be distracting. But the inability to sit still isn’t just a distraction; it can be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.1 million American children have ADHD. Thankfully, the right treatment can help your child thrive at home and at school.

Compassionate ADHD treatment is available at Pediatric Care of Four Corners under the direction of our medical director, Eiman ElSayed, MD. If your child is having a hard time sitting still (or showing other signs of ADHD), we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us. 

In the meantime, you can learn more about ADHD, hyperactivity, and how the condition is managed. 

What your child’s fidgeting may mean

Hyperactivity is a hallmark sign of ADHD. In fact, hyperactivity is one of the three types of ADHD symptoms — inattention and impulsivity are the others. Depending on which symptoms your child displays, they might have one of the following types of ADHD:

  1. Inattentive — exhibits primarily inattentive symptoms
  2. Hyperactivity-impulsivity — exhibits hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms
  3. Combination — exhibits all three types of symptoms

The most common type of ADHD is the combination, which means if your child has ADHD, you’re likely to witness some hyperactivity. Keep in mind that hyperactivity can manifest in many ways. You might notice that your child:

  1. Is unable to sit still (whether in school or at home)
  2. Constantly fidgets
  3. Displays excessive physical movements
  4. Talks excessively 
  5. Is unable to wait his or her turn (keeping in mind age-appropriate expectations) 
  6. Interrupts others 

While ADHD is a common cause of fidgeting, it’s not the only cause. Your child might have trouble sitting still if they’ve consumed caffeine, sugary goods, or have high stress levels.

Note that anxiety can also cause restlessness in children, so it’s important to confirm the source of the fidgeting before embarking on a treatment plan.

How is ADHD treated?

The first step is determining the cause of your child’s fidgeting, and if it’s ADHD, there’s good news: Children with ADHD can thrive with the right treatment. Behavior therapy and medications are two effective treatments, but you can further support your child through:

  1. Parent coaching
  2. Educational resources (i.e., learning as much as you can about ADHD)
  3. Establishing healthy lifestyle habits 

Exercise, for example, can provide a healthy outlet for your child’s energy. Exercise won’t eliminate or cure ADHD, but it can improve your child's functioning by increasing neurotransmitters like dopamine. 

Running, biking, walking, and swimming are all good forms of exercise. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Grabbing a football and running back and forth in the backyard or simply riding bikes around the block both count as exercise.

Get the answers you need 

At Pediatric Care of Four Corners, we can help you get the ADHD answers you’re looking for. If your child is demonstrating hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity, we can conduct a diagnostic evaluation and get you started on your next steps. 

To learn more about ADHD or to schedule an evaluation, call our Davenport, Florida, office or request an appointment using our online tool.