Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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ADHD Symptoms

The symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are similar in children and adults.

The three major signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults include:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior

Symptoms of inattention in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:
  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Difficulty concentrating during tasks or activities
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Does not follow through on instructions
  • Easily distracted
  • Fails to finish tasks
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Often forgetful
  • Often loses things

Symptoms of hyperactivity in adults include:
  • Difficulty being quiet
  • Fidgeting with hands

Symptoms of impulsive behavior in adults include:
  • Gives answers before questions are completed
  • Difficulty waiting in lines

Symptoms of inattention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:
  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Difficulty concentrating during tasks or activities
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Does not follow through on simple instructions
  • Does not listen to what is being said
  • Easily distracted
  • Fails to finish tasks
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Often forgetful
  • Often loses things

Symptoms of hyperactivity in children include:
  • Difficulty being quiet
  • Extremely active in an environment where being calm is important
  • Fidgeting with hands
  • Squirming in a seat

Symptoms of impulsive behavior in children include:
  • Blurts out answers before questions are completed
  • Difficulty waiting in lines

ADHD Adults

Symptoms of inattention in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:

  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Difficulty concentrating during tasks or activities
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Does not follow through on instructions
  • Easily distracted
  • Fails to finish tasks
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Often forgetful
  • Often loses things

Symptoms of hyperactivity include:
  • Difficulty being quiet
  • Fidgeting with hands

Symptoms of impulsive behavior include:
  • Gives answers before questions are completed
  • Difficulty waiting in lines

ADHD Children

Symptoms of inattention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include:

  • Avoids tasks that require mental effort
  • Difficulty concentrating during tasks or activities
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Does not follow through on simple instructions
  • Does not listen to what is being said
  • Easily distracted
  • Fails to finish tasks
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Often forgetful
  • Often loses things

Symptoms of hyperactivity include:
  • Difficulty being quiet
  • Extremely active in an environment where being calm is important
  • Fidgeting with hands
  • Squirming in a seat

Symptoms of impulsive behavior include:
  • Blurts out answers before questions are completed
  • Difficulty waiting in lines

Continue to ADHD Evaluation

Last Updated: May 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed ADHD References
  1. Brassett-Harknett A, Butler N. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: An overview of the etiology and a review of the literature relating to the correlates and lifecourse outcomes for men and women. Clin Psychol Rev. 2005 Aug 2. [16081194]
  2. Dunn DW, Kronenberger WG. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Neurol Clin. 2003 Nov;21(4):933-40. [14743657]
  3. McClellan JM, Werry JS. Evidence-based treatments in child and adolescent psychiatry: an inventory. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;42(12):1388-400. [14627873]
  4. Pelham WE Jr, Fabiano GA, Massetti GM. Evidence-based assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Sep;34(3):449-76. [16026214]
  5. Pritchard D. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):266-79. [16135263]
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