With diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on the rise, many parents are interested to know what the signs and symptoms that may give them a reason to seek a professional opinion. The three main characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Below are descriptions of each of those characteristics. While almost all children experience these characteristics to some extent, for a child with ADHD they will interfere with school work and other aspects of his life.
Signs and Symptoms of Inattention
Children who experience symptoms of inattention may have difficulty focusing on the same task for too long. They can become easily bored, distracted, and have trouble finishing an activity. He may daydream frequently at school or when he's supposed to be focusing on other tasks. Your child may seem absent minded and often forget things or lose things, such as school supplies, toys, and help with essay assignments. It might appear that your child doesn't listen and becomes confused easily.
Signs and Symptoms of Hyperactivity
A child that experiences hyperactivity will often fidget constantly and seem to always be moving. She'll have difficulty sitting still. She may run around a lot in inappropriate situations, such as school, at a restaurant, or in the grocery store. Your child may also seem to talk nonstop. She'll likely struggle during quiet tasks and activities.
Signs and Symptoms of Impulsivity
If your child deals with impulsivity, he will show signs of impatience. He may often shout out answers before he even hears the entire question. He'll often interrupt others while they are speaking and have trouble waiting for his turn to play a game or while waiting in a line. His outbursts may be inappropriate at times and he may have trouble controlling his emotions. Not all children with ADHD will show signs of all three of these characteristics. Some may only show two and others may only show signs of one of them. If your child is affected by any combination of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, and it's affecting his school work, socialization, or other aspects of his life, you should talk to his doctor about further testing.