Signs of ADHD

When you understand the signs of ADHD, you will learn what might be and what may not be ADHD. The problem with figuring out if a person actually has ADHD is that many of its individual signs and symptoms can be commonly seen in many people from time to time. For example, when people get tired they may have trouble with paying attention to details. There is a good chance that you, a family member or a close friend may have occasionally experienced one of the common signs of ADHD. It is important to understand that for an actual ADHD diagnosis, multiple ADHD symptoms which interfere with life must be present and be present for an extended period of time.

ADHD Symptoms or Signs

There are three core behavior signs or symptoms of ADHD: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity. These core symptoms of ADHD can be difficult to differentiate between normal levels of these behaviors and levels that are high enough that would constitute being able to diagnose ADHD. There are times when all of us have much more energy than at other times. There are times that all of us forget things or miss an important detail. It stands to reason that before a diagnosis of an illness of ADHD can be made that these symptoms are actually causing some sort of a problem, not just once but over a longer period of time. Similarly, these problems linked to the behavior must be seen in more than one setting - for example at school and at home, or at work and in social situations. Criteria have been established that define what constitutes ADHD that include and serves to differentiate between true ADHD and when it may be caused by something else.

Over-Arching Criteria

  • Symptoms Must Be Easily Observed In At Least Two Different Settings
  • Symptoms Must Have Been Observed for Six Months or More
  • Symptoms Degree of Severity is Greater Than Other Children of the Same Age - than what might be considered normal

Specific ADHD Symptom Checklist

    Predominantly Inattentive type symptoms include:
  • Easy Distraction
  • Missing Details
  • Forgetting Things
  • Switching Frequently Between Activities
  • Lack of Focus on A Given Task
  • Easily and Quickly Bored with Given Tasks
  • Difficult in Organization, Learning New Things
  • Difficult completing Tasks such as Homework
  • Loses, Mis-places things
  • Daydream Constantly, Appears to not be listening
  • Processing Information is Slower and Less Accurate Than Others -
Inattentive Driver
    Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type Symptoms Include:
  • Excessive Talking - often out of turn - Often Inappropriate
  • Excessive touching, playing with anything in sight
  • Can't Sit Still - Ants in the pants - School, Dinner, Story Time
  • Difficulty sitting still for Quiet Tasks
  • Described as: Fidgety, Squirming
  • Appears Very Impatient
  • Often Acts Without Thinking About the Consequences
  • Waiting in Line? Forget about it...
Hyper Activity

Since most people will exhibit some of these behaviors to some degree over time, it is important to understand to be diagnosed with ADHD you must have many of them over an extended period of time. In addition, these symptoms must be causing problems or issues in two or more settings. These core behaviors or signs are not culturally unique. If you feel you or a family member may have many of these symptoms for some time it is important to realize that there are many helps available for that person, so talk to your physician or health care provider.


› Signs of ADHD

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