Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

Symptom Overview

There are three core symptoms of ADHD: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Below is a breakdown of ADHD symptoms. This list is an overview of what these symptoms may look like in children. It is not a diagnostic tool.

 

Only a doctor or other health care professional can diagnose ADHD.

 

Symptoms of Inattention

·         Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details

(Examples: overlooking or missing details or handing in work that’s inaccurate)

·         Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks or while playing

(Examples: difficulty remaining focused during class, conversations, or lengthy readings)

·         Often seems to not listen when spoken to directly

(Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction)

·         Often fails to follow through on instructions, schoolwork, or chores

(Example: starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)

·         Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities

(Examples: messy, disorganized work; poor time management)

·         Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort, like schoolwork or homework

·         Often loses things like school materials or, if older, wallets, keys, eyeglasses, and mobile phones

·         Often easily distracted

·         Often forgetful in daily activities such as chores

 

Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

·         Often fidgets with or taps hands and feet or squirms in seat

·         Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected

(Example: leaves their place in the classroom or in other situations that require remaining seated)

·         Often runs or climbs where it is inappropriate or feels restless

·         Often unable to play quietly or, if older, struggles to participate in leisurely activities

·         Often acts as if "on the go" or “driven by a motor”

(Example: is unable or uncomfortable being still for an extended time, as in restaurants)

·         Often talks excessively

·         Often blurts out an answer before a question has been fully asked

(Examples: completes people’s sentences, cannot wait for next turn in conversation)

·         Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn

(Example: while waiting in line)

·         Often interrupts or intrudes on others

(Examples: butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission)

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