What are the 3 main symptoms of ADHD?

The following are the most common symptoms of ADHD. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The 3 categories of symptoms of ADHD include the following:

  • Inattention:
    • Short attention span for age (difficulty sustaining attention)
    • Difficulty listening to others
    • Difficulty attending to details
    • Easily distracted
    • Forgetfulness
    • Poor organisational skills for age
    • Poor study skills for age
  • Impulsivity:
    • Often interrupts others
    • Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn in school and/or social games
    • Tends to blurt out answers instead of waiting to be called upon
    • Takes frequent risks, and often without thinking before acting
  • Hyperactivity:
    • Seems to be in constant motion; runs or climbs, at times with no apparent goal except motion
    • Has difficulty remaining in his/her seat even when it is expected
    • Fidgets with hands or squirms when in his or her seat; fidgeting excessively
    • Talks excessively
    • Has difficulty engaging in quiet activities
    • Loses or forgets things repeatedly and often
    • Inability to stay on task; shifts from one task to another without bringing any to completion

The symptoms of ADHD may resemble other medical conditions or behaviour problems. Keep in mind that many of these symptoms may occur in children and teens who do not have ADHD. A key element in diagnosis is that the symptoms must significantly impair adaptive functioning in both home and school environments. Always consult your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.

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