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About ADHD Symptoms in Children

ADHD has three subtypes:
Inattentive (ADD), Hyperactive-impulsive or Combined   

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and up to 2/3 continue into adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour (extremely impulsive), and hyperactivity (over-activity). Over 60% of people diagnosed with ADHD may have an additional Co-morbid condition.

 

If your child has symptoms of all three subtypes, behavioural problems – inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness – they may have ADHD combined, which is the most common subtype of ADHD. Alternatively, if your child has symptoms of inattentiveness but not hyperactivity or impulsiveness, they may have ADHD mainly inattentive. This form of ADHD is also known as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Childhood ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls, but this may be because disruptive behaviours, on which the diagnosis may be partly based, tends to be more common in boys than girls. Girls with ADHD often have the mainly inattentive form of the condition, which may make them quiet and dreamy and can sometimes go unnoticed. It is, therefore, possible that ADHD could be underdiagnosed in girls, and could be more common than previously thought.

Inattentive ADHD: The main symptoms are:

  • a short attention span

  • being easily distracted

  • making careless mistakes, for example in schoolwork

  • appearing forgetful or losing things

  • being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming

  • being unable to listen to or carry out instructions

  • being unable to concentrate

  • constantly changing activity or task

  • having difficulty organising tasks

 

Hyperactivity: The main symptoms are:

  • being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings

  • constantly fidgeting

  • being unable to settle to tasks

  • excessive physical movement

  • excessive talking

 

Impulsiveness: The main symptoms are:

  • being unable to wait for a turn

  • acting without thinking

  • interrupting conversations

  • little or no sense of danger

If your child has ADHD, their symptoms usually become noticeable before the age of seven, with a diagnosis usually made after the age of 6 years old. ADHD can cause problems in a child's life, and can often lead to underachievement at school, poor social interaction with other children and adults, and problems with discipline. Some children will continue into their adult life with the condition.

Disclaimer

Information provided on this website is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. You should never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking an assessment or medical treatment because of something you may have read on this site. You should also not use the information on this website or the information on links from this site to diagnose or treat ADHD and/or co-morbidities, in yourself or others, without consulting a qualified adult ADHD specialist.