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ADHD in Teens (cont.)

ADHD in Teens Symptoms and Signs

Common symptoms and signs of ADHD can include:


  • Trouble paying close attention or making careless mistakes
  • Does not seem to be listening when directly spoken to
  • Avoids or fails to follow through on instructions or to finish tasks
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Tendency to get distracted easily
  • Often forgetful


  • Tends to fidget
  • Has trouble staying seated when doing so is necessary or expected
  • Trouble engaging in activities quietly
  • May talk excessively


  • Interrupts others often
  • Has trouble taking turns with others
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have finished being stated

ADHD symptoms and signs in teenagers

While symptoms of hyperactivity in persons with ADHD tend to decrease with age, most of the differences in symptoms of this disorder in adolescents compared to children and adults have much to do with the tasks that adolescents are called on to do at this stage of their lives. For example, teens with ADHD tend to show lower grade point averages, lower levels of class placement (for example, remedial vs. honors or advanced placement) and higher rates of course failure. Also, teens with this diagnosis tend to complete and turn in a much lower percentage of assignments and are much less likely to be working up to their potential. Adolescents with ADHD were significantly more likely to be absent or tardy from school, and they can be over eight times more likely than adolescents without ADHD to drop out of high school. ADHD teens tend to be more impulsive drivers and have more difficulty making and keeping well-adjusted friends. Unfortunately, in the face of the unique and significant impact that ADHD can have on their lives, teens tend to be the least willing to receive treatment compared to their younger and older counterparts. Research shows that adolescents are often more likely to have a negative perception of treatment and to be more likely to expect to have a bad experience as a result of ADHD treatment.

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