ADHD is defined as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Its core symptoms are:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity.

Between 60% and 85% of kids (ages 6-12) diagnosed with ADHD may continue to have ADHD as teens (ages 13-17).

Symptoms of Inattention

  • Makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details Example: overlooking or missing details, or handing in homework that is inaccurate
  • Has difficulty paying attention to tasks or while playing Example: difficulty remaining focused during class, conversations, or lengthy readings
  • Seems to not listen when spoken to directly Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction
  • Fails to follow through on instructions, schoolwork, or chores Example: starts tasks, but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities Example: messy, disorganized work; poor time management
  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort Example: avoids or dislikes schoolwork or homework
  • Loses things Example: loses school materials or, if older, wallets, keys, glasses, or phone
  • Seems to not listen when spoken to directly Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction
  • Fails to follow through on instructions, schoolwork, or chores Example: starts tasks, but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked
  • Easily distracted Forgetful in daily activities Example: may forget to complete chores

Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

  • Fidgets with or taps hands and feet or squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected Example: leaves their place in the classroom or in other situations that require remaining seated
  • Runs or climbs where it is inappropriate, or feels restless
  • Unable to play quietly or, if older, participate in leisurely activities
  • Acts as if “on the go” or “driven by a motor” Example: is unable or uncomfortable being still for an extended time
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out an answer before a question has been fully asked Example: completes people’s sentences; cannot wait for next turn in conversation
  • Has difficulty waiting his or her turn Example: has trouble waiting in line
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others Examples: butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission
  • Easily distracted Forgetful in daily activities Example: may forget to complete chores