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:
- 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
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Last reviewed: September 2018