Symptoms of ADHD

The ADHD Test for Children: A Symptom Checklist

Is your child easily distracted? A blur of energy? Incessantly talking? It could be ADHD. Use this self-test to see if his symptoms match up with attention deficit disorder.

A doctor explains anger management for kids to a young patient.
A doctor explains anger management for kids to a young patient.

Do you see signs of ADHD in your child? Do you suspect he or she may have trouble focusing, controlling impulses, or making friends?

Your child will not receive a formal attention deficit disorder (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.

Learn more about ADHD in children by checking off each of the following statements that apply to your son or daughter in the following self-test:

NOTE: This ADHD test for kids is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.

Part One

The first part of the ADHD test covers signs of distractibility.

  1. My child has trouble paying attention.
  2. My child makes careless mistakes.
  3. It’s very difficult for my child to stay focused on homework or other tasks.
  4. My child rarely completes an activity before moving to the next activity.
  5. Even when spoken to directly, my child seems to not listen.
  6. My child is disorganized and even with my help can’t seem to learn how to become organized.
  7. My child loses things necessary for tasks or activities, such as toys, homework assignments, pencils, books, and so on.
  8. My child tries to avoid activities or does them grudgingly when they require sustained concentration and a lot of mental effort.
  9. My child frequently forgets to do things, even when constantly reminded.
  10. Even the smallest distractions throw my child off task.
  11. My child has trouble following instructions and finishing tasks.

If you checked off five or more symptoms — and these symptoms have been a persistent problem interfering in your child’s life at home and at school — he or she may have inattentive type ADHD. It would be prudent to talk with a physician or a licensed mental health practitioner.

Take this form with you to the doctor’s office. Treatments are available for ADHD in children that can reduce substantially these neurologically based behaviors.

Part Two

The second part of the ADHD test covers hyperactivity and impulsivity.

  1. Sometimes my child acts as if she/he is driven by a motor and is constantly “on the go.”
  2. My child always seems to be squirming in the chair or fidgeting.
  3. No matter how hard he tries, my child has problems remaining seated even when she/he is supposed to — he/she gets up, runs around, or climbs during class or in other situations where one should stay seated.
  4. My child talks a lot, even when she/he has nothing much to say.
  5. My child often interferes in the classroom because s/he has difficulty engaging in quiet activities without disturbing others.
  6. In class or at home, my child blurts out answers to questions before they are fully asked.
  7. My child has difficulty waiting patiently to take turns, and frequently butts ahead in lines or grabs toys from playmates.
  8. Sometimes my child seems intrusive. She/he interrupts constantly other peoples’ activities, conversations, and games.

If you checked off five or more symptoms — and these symptoms have been a persistent problem interfering in your child’s life at home and at school — he or she may have attention deficit disorder. It would be prudent to talk with a physician or a licensed mental health practitioner.

Take this form with you to the doctor’s office. Treatments are available for ADHD in children that can reduce substantially these neurologically based behaviors.

 

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