Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
Diseases » ADHD » Symptoms

Symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD: Introduction

Symptoms of ADHD are categorized into those of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These categories of ADHD are the same for children and adults although they may exhibit symptoms in different ways.

Symptoms of inattention include an inability to stay focused on tasks appropriate for age, having difficulty concentrating on one thing, loosing important items, and daydreaming. Other symptoms of inattention include not making eye contact when spoken to, having difficulty with following instructions, and becoming quickly bored with a task or activity.

Symptoms of hyperactivity include excessive talking, inability to sit still even during short periods, and being constantly on the move, running, jumping, or screaming.

Symptoms of impulsivity include impatience, showing excessive emotions, and frequently interrupting others.

People with ADHD can exhibit any combination of these symptom types. Some people may be more difficult to diagnose because they primarily exhibit the symptoms of inattention, such as daydreaming and losing items, but not symptoms of hyperactivity. People may also primarily exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity or of all three symptom categories.

Children do not simply grow out of ADHD, as is often believed. Just the opposite is commonly true - the symptoms of ADHD often get worse as a child grows into adulthood....more about ADHD »

ADHD symptoms:

A diagnosis of ADHD is based partly on symptoms. It is generally accepted that children must exhibit symptoms to an extent greater than the average child of the same age for six months or more. Symptoms are categorized into those of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Symptoms of Inattention include:

  • Inability to stay focused on tasks appropriate for age, such as completing 10 minutes of homework for a ten year old.
  • Having difficulty concentrating on one thing, such as what a teacher is saying in class
  • Loosing important items, such as a eight year old who frequently loses her glasses
  • Daydreaming, appearing sluggish and slow to respond
  • Not making eye contact or not appearing to listen when spoken to
  • Difficulty with following instructions for age appropriate tasks or activities
  • Becoming quickly bored with a task of activity

Symptoms of hyperactivity include:

  • Excessive talking
  • Inability to sit still even during short periods
  • Constantly on the move, running, jumping, screaming

Symptoms of impulsivity include:

  • Showing excessive emotions
  • Frequently interrupts others
  • Impatience

Children can exhibit any combination of these symptom types. Some children may be more difficult to diagnose because they primarily exhibit the symptoms of inattention, such as daydreaming and losing items, but not symptoms of hyperactivity. Children can also primarily exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity or of all three symptom categories....more about ADHD »

Symptoms of ADHD

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for ADHD includes the 38 symptoms listed below:

  • Inattention
    • Not paying attention
    • Lack of attention
    • Poor attention span
    • Easily distracted child
    • Failure to listen to instructions properly
    • Getting bored very easily
    • Difficulty coping with details
    • Careless mistakes in work
    • Forgetfulness
  • Hyperactive behavior
    • Difficulty sitting still for long
    • Fidgeting with hands or feet
    • Talking too much or too often
    • Foot movements
    • Frequent pencil tapping
    • Restless behavior
    • Getting out of seat in classroom
  • Impulsive behavior
    • General lack of self control
    • Speaking inappropriately
    • Difficulty waiting in lines or queues
    • Aggression or agitation if upset
  • Inability to get organized
  • Inability to organize work at school
  • Having unfinished projects, home chores or school homework
  • Poor coordination
  • General messiness and untidiness
  • Moodiness and mood swings
  • Seems hard to please
  • Adulthood symptoms of ADHD
  • more information...»

Research symptoms & diagnosis of ADHD:

ADHD: Symptom Checkers

Review the available symptom checkers for these symptoms of ADHD:

ADHD: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

Review the available Assessment Questionnaires for the symptoms of ADHD:

ADHD: Complications

Review medical complications possibly associated with ADHD:

Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to ADHD:

  • Parent consultant interview
  • Teacher consultation interview
  • Psychology assessment
  • Dietary changes - Can be used diagnostically to rule out certain food intolerances or allergies/reactions.
  • more tests...»

Research More About ADHD

Do I have ADHD?

ADHD: Medical Mistakes

ADHD: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to ADHD:

Wrongly Diagnosed with ADHD?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for ADHD includes:

  • Normal child behavior - not every active child is actually hyperactive; not every shy child is inattentive; not every day-dreaming child is inattentive. Babies and small children have a very short attention span and children are still easily distracted until they are older.
  • Giftedness (High intelligence) - gifted children may be bored or restless in class giving the appearance of symptoms similar to ADHD.
  • Normal behavior - sometimes normal children act hyperactive or inattentive without any disease.
  • Bipolar disorder - hyperactivity could be from the mania from bipolar disorder.
  • Restless legs syndrome - fidgeting and moving legs may be misdiagnosed as hyperactive ADHD.
  • more diagnoses...»

ADHD: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

More about symptoms of ADHD:

More information about symptoms of ADHD and related conditions:

Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

ADHD as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of ADHD as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for ADHD.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of ADHD:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of ADHD. This signs and symptoms information for ADHD has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of ADHD signs or ADHD symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of ADHD may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed ADHD symptoms.


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise