Symptoms of ADHD


The symptoms of ADHD can be clubbed into three broad categories- inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The problems are there in focusing as well as sustaining the attention in case of inattention; it is an important fact to be noted and paid attention. The diagnosis is not done based on individual symptoms, rather the diagnosis is syndromal, i.e., it is based on a cluster of symptoms occurring together. While making the diagnosis, the professionals pay attention to this clustering not only for making a diagnosis of ADHD, but also to identify the subtype. The symptoms of ADHD are clubbed into two broad subtypes and the third subtype is there when both the broad subtypes are there. Thus the three subtypes are Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Predominantly Inattentive type; Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive type; Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, combined type. The subtype of ADHD affects the prognosis and treatment of the disorder. With ADHD the symptoms of Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) generally occur and these should be paid attention.  


The Possible Symptoms of Inattention are as follows-

  • The child easily get distracted easily by the noises and other distracters in the environment
  • Frequent off tasks behaviors like talking to other children in class
  • Problems in staying focused at one activity, like- study tasks and play
  • Often fails to pay close attention to details of the tasks at hand or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork and/or other activities
  • When spoken to directly, seems as not listening
  • Frequently looses or forgets things
  • The child has difficulty in following through on instructions and often fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
  • Often The child has problems organizing tasks or activities
  • The child is often forgetful
  • Avoids or dislikes the activities that require mental efforts.
  • The child has difficulty in completing the tasks and often leaves the tasks incomplete.
  • The child needs close supervision to finish the tasks

The Possible Symptoms of Inattention are as follows-

  • Fidgeting and squirming
  • Continuously doing something or the other
  • Problem in remaining seated even in which it is expected as in classroom and social gatherings
  • Excessively talking and at an inappropriate time or occasion or situation
  • Often runs or climbs at places not expected
  • Constantly on the go as driven by a motor
  • Problem in engaging in leisure activities or play quietly


The Possible Symptoms of Impulsivity are as follows-

  • Butts or intrudes into conversation of others
  • Answers the question even before the question is completed
  • The child has difficulty in waiting for his/her turn in games or in queues
  • Making decisions without giving it a thought

The symptoms of impulsivity are clubbed with symptoms of hyperactivity in Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly hyperactive type.