Question : My 5 years old girl, has been behaving weirdly for the past 2 months in Child Care. She refuses to sit during lesson, scolds the teacher who tries to talk to her nicely, locks herself in toilet, dozes off during lesson, not attentive. sometimes she even tries to run away from lesson. Does my child have ADHD or emo behaviour? Please advice. thanks a lot.

adhd_screaming photo by denzaniAnswer : Typically, children who are diagnosed with ADHD would have already been demonstrating symptoms of it since toddlerhood. There are three variations of ADHD (ADHD-Inattentive type, ADHD- Hyperactive-Impulsive type, ADHD – Combined type). But the most common symptoms of ADHD include but are not exclusive of:

  • inattention/distractability
  • hyperactivity
  • impulsive

A diagnosis can only be given if your daughter is fully assessed. However, if you have only recently started noticing these behavioral symptoms in your daughter, it is best to discuss these behaviors with her teachers.

Perhaps she is under or over-stimulated in class, perhaps she’s not resting well at night, perhaps she is lashing out with behaviors because something has happened in her social circle, perhaps she is having a difficult time learning, etc.

There are many “theories” why a child acts the way she does. The important part as a parent is to identify the trigger of her behaviors and to understand the purpose of it. Most behaviors have a reason.

If the behaviors continue and are impairing her daily interactions with teachers, friends as well as her ability to learn, then it is best to seek professional assistance. It may be necessary to assess her to understand how to best support her.

Dr Vanessa von Auer
Clinic Director/Psychologist
MA (Counseling), B.A. Psychology (hons.), EMDR

Von Auer Psychology CentreDr Vanessa von Auer is the Clinic Director/Psychologist of Von Auer Psychology Centre VAPC. She has spent her career helping parents learn effective parenting strategies, has helped children process their emotional difficulties in healthy ways and has helped families grower closer in their dynamics with one another. For more information, visit

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