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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Signs and Symptoms

ADHD is defined primarily by persistent symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention that can severely affect a person’s quality of life. Some people present mostly with symptoms related to inattention, others present mostly symptoms related to hyperactivity and impulsivity, while others have all three types of symptoms in combination (A.D.A.M. 2013).

Symptoms of inattention include (A.D.A.M 2013):

  • making careless mistakes during school work
  • difficulty staying focused during work or play
  • difficulty in paying attention/listening when spoken to
  • difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • often losing toys, books, or tools used for activities
  • being easily distracted
  • forgetfulness during daily activities and tasks

Symptoms of hyperactivity include (A.D.A.M. 2013):

  • fidgeting with hands or feet
  • leaving one’s seat when it is expected to remain seated
  • running/climbing in inappropriate situations
  • difficulty working/playing quietly
  • often being "on the go"
  • talking excessively

Symptoms of impulsiveness include (A.D.A.M. 2013):

  • blurting out an answer before a question is finished
  • difficulty awaiting one’s turn
  • interrupting or intruding on others during conversations/play

Many children with ADHD struggle academically and in social situations. Also, symptoms are frequently accompanied by other problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse (Hodgkins 2013; Wilens 2004).