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Symptoms of ADHD

2-minute read

Most kids daydream, fidget and interrupt conversations. So how do you know whether a child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or whether they are simply being a kid?

If they are a child with ADHD, their problems with attention and hyperactivity will be severe enough to interfere with learning and social relationships.

There are 2 groups of symptoms in ADHD:

Inattentive symptoms

  • not paying attention to details, or making careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • having difficulty remaining focused in class, conversations or reading
  • avoiding tasks that take continuous mental effort (for example, homework)
  • not following through on instructions, a tendency to start but not finish tasks
  • having difficulty organising tasks, activities, belongings or time
  • being easily distracted or daydreaming
  • losing things
  • not seeming to listen when spoken to
  • being forgetful with everyday tasks, such as chores and appointments

Hyperactive — impulsive symptoms

  • fidgeting and squirming
  • running or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate, leaving their seat in class
  • talking non-stop
  • interrupting conversations, games or activities or using people’s things without permission
  • blurting out an answer before a question has been finished
  • having difficulty playing quietly
  • having difficulty waiting their turn
  • leaving the seat in class or in other situations where sitting is expected
  • being constantly in motion, as if 'driven by a motor'
  • struggling to play or do tasks quietly

More information

You can get more information from:

Last reviewed: September 2018

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