Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Children

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a complicated neurodevelopmental illness. This condition can impair a person’s ability to perform typically in various settings, including the workplace, the classroom, and within the family. Even though ADHD may manifest itself in observable difficulties in day-to-day living, the indications in kids and adults can vary widely and can be difficult to see at times. 

It is very uncommon for children to be diagnosed with ADHD while they are in their teenage years; nevertheless, the typical age for a diagnosis of mild ADHD is seven years old. These children may also be plagued by low self-esteem, conflicted friendships, and poor academic achievement. 

Sometimes, as people become older, the symptoms get better. However, some people continue to exhibit signs of ADHD far into adulthood, but they can acquire the necessary skills to succeed. If you have any reason to think that your kid has ADHD, you should first speak with a healthcare expert to see whether or not the child’s symptoms match those of the disorder. 

It is conceivable for a primary care doctor, including a pediatrician, or a therapist, such as a licensed therapist, to diagnose patients. A mental health professional can also make the diagnosis. The healthcare practitioners usually question the child’s parents, teachers, and other people who support children about the child’s conduct in various environments, such as at home, at school, or with other children. 

It is also the responsibility of the healthcare practitioner to evaluate whether or not the child suffers from any other conditions that either better explain the symptoms of ADHD or that occur concurrently with ADHD. 

Indications that a child may have ADHD 

Lack of attention, impulsive behaviour, or a mix of the two might be the primary symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may cause a person to have issues paying attention and keeping organized, excessive fidgeting or restlessness, trouble with self-control, and impulsive actions. This may result in symptoms at home, daycare, or school for children or toddlers with ADHD. 

Some examples of these symptoms are as follows: 

Lack of attention 

At least six symptoms of inattention ought to be present in children up to the age of 16 years, while at least five symptoms of inattention should be present in adolescents aged 17 years and older. 

The duration of difficulty concentrating should have been present for at least six months and are not appropriate for the child’s developmental level: 

  • Makes thoughtless blunders in school, job, or other activities because they ignore the little things. 
  • Has a hard time focusing on a task or game for long periods. 
  • Sometimes it seems as if they aren’t paying attention when addressed directly. 
  • They are often disobedient when given directions and frequently neglect to do schooling, housework, or employment responsibilities. 
  • It’s hard for them to track what has to be done and what can wait. 
  • Often avoids, hates, or is unwilling to engage in long-term jobs that demand mental effort. 
  • Frequently loses items that are required for jobs and activities. 
  • They tend to get sidetracked. 
  • A chronic forgetter when it comes to everyday tasks. 

Both restlessness and impulsivity 

At least six symptoms of impulsivity and restlessness should be present in children up to 16 years old, while at least five symptoms of inattention should be present in adolescents aged 17 years and older. 

  • Frequently wiggles in their seat, tap their feet and hands, or fidgets with their hands and feet. 
  • Often getting up from their seat in circumstances when staying seated is thought to be the appropriate behaviour. 
  • Frequently engages in inappropriate activities, such as running about or climbing when it is not necessary. 
  • Frequently unable to play quietly or participate in leisure activities without making noise. 
  • They are often “on the move” and behave consistently with being “driven by a motor.” 
  • A lot of the time, they speak too much. 
  • Frequently responds with a response even before the issue has been entirely posed. 
  • They have difficulties waiting their turn a lot of the time. 
  • Interrupts or intrudes on other people often. 

Furthermore, the following prerequisites have to be present: 

  • Before 12, the individual had several signs of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behaviour. 
  • Multiple symptoms appear in at least two of the following contexts: at home, schooling, or job; with friends or family; in other activities. 
  • There is abundant proof that the signs make it challenging to operate socially, academically, or professionally or lower the quality of these activities. 
  • No other mental condition can adequately explain the symptoms, such as a psychiatric condition, panic disorder, dissociation disorder, or borderline personality. Therefore, it is unnecessary to have schizophrenia or any psychotic condition to experience these symptoms. 


There are three subtypes of ADHD that might emerge depending on the signs that are present: 

Predominantly inattentive 

A sufficient number of inattentive symptoms were present during the previous six months, but not hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. 

Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive 

The predominance of signs is characterized as hyperactivity and impulsivity. 


These symptoms may be broken down into inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive. 

Coexisting conditions

There is no correlation between ADHD and other psychiatric or developmental issues. However, compared to children who do not have ADHD, kids with ADHD are susceptible to other disorders, such as: 

ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder)

A pattern of unpleasant, belligerent, and aggressive conduct toward authority figures is often classified as oppositional behavior. 

Conduct disorder 

Antisocial conduct is characterized by theft, fighting, damaging property, and hurting people or animals. These behaviors may identify it. 

Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder 

It is characterized by irritation and difficulties in being able to tolerate frustration. 

Learning disabilities 

Reading, writing, comprehending, and communicating effectively are all areas that might be affected. 

Substance use disorders 

It includes things like drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. 

Anxiety disorders 

This can result in excessive concern and uneasiness, as well as OCD. 

Mood disorders 

It has been linked to both sadness and the mental illness known as bipolar disorder, which encompasses both depressive and manic behaviours. 

Autism spectrum disorder 

It is a disorder connected to the development of the brain that affects how a person sees others and interacts with them socially. 

Tic disorder or Tourette syndrome 

It refers to conditions in which a person engages in an undesired or repeated activity or sound that is difficult or impossible to control. 


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