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7 Signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex mental health disorder that can affect your child's success at school and their relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary and are sometimes difficult to recognize.

Many of the individual symptoms of ADHD are normal for children to experience. Evaluating the child under several criteria is necessary to make a diagnosis of ADHD. ADHD is generally diagnosed in children by the time they’re teens. The average age of diagnosis is 7. Older children exhibiting these symptoms may have ADHD, but they often have exhibited rather elaborate symptoms early in life.

Here are seven common signs of ADHD.

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Self-focused behavior

Self-focused behavior

A common sign of ADHD is an inability to recognize other people's needs and desires. A child with ADHD may interrupt other people when they’re talking. They may have trouble waiting their turn for classroom activities or when playing games with other children.

Emotional turmoil

Emotional turmoil

A child with ADHD may have difficulty keeping emotions in check. They may have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times. Younger children may have temper tantrums.

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Fidgetiness

Fidgetiness

Children with ADHD often can't sit still. They may try to get up and run around, fidget, or squirm in their chair when forced to sit.

Unfinished tasks

Unfinished tasks

A child with ADHD may show interest in lots of different things, but they may have problems finishing them. For example, they may start projects, chores, or homework, but move on to the next thing that catches their interest before finishing. 

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Lack of focus

Lack of focus

A child with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, even when someone is speaking directly to them. They'll say they heard you, but they won’t be able to repeat back to you what you just said. 

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Mistakes

Mistakes

Children with ADHD have difficulty following instructions that require planning or executing a plan. This can then lead to careless mistakes, but it doesn’t indicate laziness or a lack of intelligence.

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Daydreams

Daydreams

Children with ADHD aren’t always rambunctious and loud. Another sign of ADHD is being quieter and less involved than other kids. A child with ADHD may stare into space, daydream, and ignore what's going on around them.

Looking forward

What next?

All children are going to exhibit some of these behaviors at some point. However, you should start thinking about the next steps if your child regularly displays signs of ADHD and this behavior is affecting their success in school and leading to negative interaction with their peers.

ADHD is treatable. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, review all of the treatment options. Then, set up a time to meet with a doctor or psychologist to determine the best course of action. 

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