Northern Beaches ADHD Support Group

Symptoms of ADHD

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Predominantly inattentive type symptoms  may include:

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new or trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions.

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type symptoms may include:

  • Fidget and squirm in their seats
  • Talk non-stop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities

and also these manifestations primarily of impulsivity:

  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games

Most people exhibit some of these behaviors, but not to the degree where such behaviors significantly interfere with a person’s work, relationships, or studies—and in the absence of significant interference or impairment, a diagnosis of ADHD is normally not appropriate.  The core impairments are consistent even in different cultural contexts.

Some children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD have an increased risk of experiencing difficulties with social skills, such as social interaction and forming and maintaining friendships.  About half of children and adolescents with ADHD experience rejection by their peers compared to 10-15 percent of non-ADHD children and adolescents.  Training in social skills, behavioural modification and medication may have some limited beneficial effects.  The most important factor in reducing emergence of later psychopathology, such as major depression, criminality, school failure, and substance use abuse is formation of friendships with people who are not involved in delinquent activities.  Adolescents with ADHD are more likely to have difficulty making and keeping friends due to impairments in processing verbal and nonverbal language.

Handwriting difficulties seem to be common in children with ADHD. Delays in speech and language as well as motor development occur more commonly in the ADHD population.