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What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

Common symptoms and manifestations in children:

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions.
  • Fidget and squirm in their seats
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.

Think your child might have ADHD? Feel free to take this free screening checklist.

ADHD in Adults?

ADHD is not just diagnosed in children. Many people go undiagnosed and come to find they have the disorder in their adult years. Children and adults with ADHD can share similar ADHD symptoms but they often manifest differently.

Adults with ADHD have higher levels of maturity and social conditioning, and by extension present less obvious symptoms than a child with ADHD. However, ADHD in adults can be just as damaging.

Common symptoms and manifestations in adults:

  • Constantly losing track of time.
  • Difficulty following conversations.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Frequently misplaces common items.
  • Becomes distracted easily.
  • General feeling of restlessness.
  • Fidgeting.
  • Difficultly sitting for extended periods.
  • More likely to engage in risky or fast-paced activities.
  • Impulsive money spending.
  • Participates in risky behaviors.
  • Frequently interrupts others.
  • Blurts out offensive or hurtful things without thinking.