Symptoms of ADHD

symptoms of ADHD

Does Your Child Have ADHD?

Well, the signs and symptoms of ADHD are pretty self-explained – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – lack of attention (or focus) and hyperactive (cannot sit still).

You know how we often jokes about ADHD when one of our friends keeps forgetting things while multitasking.

Of course, you don’t get the diagnosis of ADHD just for being forgetful occasionally.

A child has to show that he/she has at least 6 items from that category to be classified as inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. And the child must show to have these behaviors for at least 6 months, and the behaviors are creating significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning or relationships.

A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is given when hyperactivity and impulsivity are not present. But, in general, ADHD and ADD are used interchangeably.

ADHD or ADD is usually diagnosed in childhood. We all know young children have short attention span. But if his/her attention span is unusually short-spanned for his/her age, that warrants some concern. Or an older child who is not able to stay put in his/her chair and behaves more like a toddler wandering around the classroom.

Let’s look at the list below and see how many you have.

Inattention

■ fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
■ has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
■ does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
■ does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
■ has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
■ avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
■ loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)
■ easily get distracted by extraneous stimuli
■ forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity

■ fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
■ leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
■ runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
■ has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
■ “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
■ talks excessively

Impulsivity

■ blurts out answers before questions have been completed
■ has difficulty awaiting turn
■ interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

I’m sure we all can find a few of these behaviors in ourselves at one point in time. And that’s normal.

Remember, every child is different and we all learn differently. If your child’s teacher raises a concern, take the time to observe and get a proper diagnosis. Don’t jump to conclusion right away to put a label on your child.

Related article: ADHD Symptoms or Something Else?

Author: Anna

I'm a board-certified Pediatric Nutritionist, who takes care of medically-fragile infants and children in the US Defense System; I'm mother of a teenager and a real estate investor. I love spending time with friends and family playing tennis, golf, hiking and stand-up-paddling. And we live in Honolulu, Hawaii.