15 Common ADHD Symptoms in Children

Use this checklist of ADHD symptoms in children to determine whether your child meets the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis.

Symptoms that suggest ADHD. ADDitude Magazine

ADHD Symptoms Checklist

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders


Your child will not receive a formal attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) diagnosis just because he is distractible or restless.

He or she must meet the criteria for ADHD symptoms in children outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In addition to specifying ADHD symptoms, the criteria specify where and how often they're exhibited and the extent to which they interfere with daily life.

Your child might have ADHD if he or she:

  • has trouble paying attention
  • makes careless mistakes
  • seems not to listen when spoken to directly
  • has trouble following instructions and finishing tasks
  • has trouble planning and organizing work or activities
  • avoids certain tasks or does them grudgingly, especially those requiring sustained mental effort
  • loses things necessary for tasks or activities, such as toys, homework assignments, pencils, books, and so on
  • becomes easily distracted
  • forgets things
  • squirms in chair or fidgets
  • gets up, runs around, or climbs during class or in other situations where one should stay seated
  • is often "on the go" or acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • talks too much and blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • can't wait his turn
  • interrupts or intrudes on others' conversations or games

Like this? You might like You Know Your Kid Has ADD When...

This article comes from the December 2005 / January 2006 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, ORDER IT NOW!
SUBSCRIBE to get every issue of ADDitude delivered.

TAGS: ADHD Symptoms, Diagnosing Children with ADHD, ADHD Medication and Children

Share your comments, questions and advice on ADDConnect!
Join our online support groups to learn about treatment options, coping mechanisms, related conditions and much more.

Copyright © 1998 - 2016 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 108 West 39th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10018