Inattentive Symptoms of ADHD

The ADHD symptoms associated with inattention include:

  • Easily distracted
  • Loses focus on tasks, games, etc.
  • Trouble maintaining attention to detail and following instructions
  • Doesn’t seem to listen even when spoken to directly
  • Leaving projects, tasks, and other activities unfinished
  • Struggles to complete schoolwork
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Forgets to do daily activities
  • Loses things frequently
  • Difficulty with organizing

Hyperactive Symptoms of ADHD

Hyperactivity is characterized by the following ADHD symptoms:

  • In constant motion as if “driven by a motor”
  • Struggles to remain still or seated
  • Fidgets and squirms often
  • Runs, climbs, and jumps when not permitted
  • Can’t stay engaged in quiet activities
  • Talks excessively

Impulsive Symptoms of ADHD

The ADHD symptoms which are linked to impulsivity include:

  • Frequently interrupting others
  • Calling out answers before being called on
  • Trouble taking turns in games and activities
  • Impatience when told to wait
  • Taking risky actions without thinking

ADHD Symptoms vs. Developmental Behavior

Most children will display some of the symptoms listed above on occasion. It’s not unusual for a child to interrupt others, get distracted, fidget, lose things, etc. In young children especially, a short attention span is relatively common. And kids generally have lots of energy and enjoy being active.

However, if a parent notices their child display many of these symptoms on a regular basis, it may be cause for concern. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that the child has ADHD, but a screening for the disorder could be useful in determining a possible cause.

A specialist won’t diagnose a child based on observations of these symptoms alone. They’ll also look at other potential factors, such as:

  • The number of symptoms: If children only display a few symptoms from the list, it’s not enough to trigger an ADHD diagnosis.
  • Whether the symptoms interfere with the child’s life: ADHD symptoms are disruptive enough to interfere with the child’s functioning at school, at home, or in social settings.
  • Where the symptoms occur: If these behaviors happen only at school or at home, they are unlikely to be caused by ADHD.
  • Other potential causes: A number of conditions could cause symptoms similar to those of ADHD, such as vision/hearing difficulties, language/learning problems, mood disorders, or autism spectrum disorder.

Safety Concerns with ADHD Symptoms

If your child has the symptoms of ADHD, it’s important to take precautionary measures for their personal safety. Impulsive behaviors can lead to risky actions and poor decision making, while inattention may cause in an increased risk of injury.

Since some ADHD behaviors can be potentially dangerous, parents and caregivers should display extra caution around traffic, swimming pools, tools, machinery, firearms, cleaning supplies, and medications.