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Symptoms and Signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children (ADHD in Children)

Doctor's Notes on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children (ADHD in Children)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic behavioral disorder characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention and may result in difficulty in academic, emotional, and social functioning. There are 3 types of ADHD: primarily inattentive, characterized by recurrent inattentiveness and inability to maintain focus on tasks or activities; primarily hyperactive-impulsive, characterized by impulsive behaviors and inappropriate movement or restlessness; and combined, the most common type of ADHD, which is a combination of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive forms.

Symptoms of inattention present in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children may include failure to pay attention to details, making careless, difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities, does not seem to listen when spoken to directly, does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish tasks, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort, loses things necessary for tasks or activities, is easily distracted, and often forgetful. Symptoms of hyperactivity in ADHD in children may include fidgeting, leaving seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected, runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate, has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly, and talks excessively. Symptoms of impulsivity in ADHD in children may include blurting out answers before questions have been completed, difficulty awaiting turn, and interrupting or intruding on others.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.