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Symptoms of ADHD In Children

What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD In Children?


Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviours of ADHD.  It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviours are more severe and occur more often.

Child with ADHD must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.  Children who have symptoms of inattention may:

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another

  • ​Have difficulty focusing on one thing and they become bored quickly, unless they are doing something enjoyable

  • Have difficulty organizing and completing a task or learning new things. 

  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often

  • Lose pencils, toys, assignments, needed to complete activities.

  • Not seem to listen when spoken to.  

  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly

  • Difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others

  • Struggle to follow instructions

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:


  • Fidget and squirm in their seats

  • Talk nonstop

  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight

  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time

  • Be constantly in motion

  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsive behaviour may:

  • Be very impatient

  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without
    restraint, and act without regard for consequences
    Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns    
    in games 

  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.

Do Teens With ADHD Have Special Needs?

Not all children with ADHD are diagnosed early and many continue to show symptoms as they enter adolescence.  

Children who suffer with ADHD face especially difficult  years as academic demands increase and responsibilities mount. 

Children with ADHD do have special needs and they need a structured environment with rules that are  clear and easy to understand. Helping them stay focus and organized—such as posting a chart listing household chores and responsibilities with spaces to check off completed items—also may help.​​

Teens with or without ADHD want to be independent and try new things, and sometimes they will break rules. If your teen breaks rules, your response should be as calm and matter-of-fact as possible.  Punishment should be used only rarely.

Teens with ADHD often have trouble controlling their impulsive behaviour and tempers can flare. Sometimes, a short time-out can be calming.

If your teen asks for later curfews and use of the car, listen to the request, give reasons for your opinions, and listen to your child's opinion.

Rules should be clear once they are set, but communication, negotiation, and compromise are helpful along the way.

Maintaining treatments, such as medication and behavioral or family therapy, also can help with managing your teenager's ADHD.

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