ADHD Symptoms in Children

The ADHD Test for Kids: ADD Symptom Checklist

ADHD in children often means distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. If you observe these symptoms in your child, use this ADHD test for kids to determine whether an evaluation for attention deficit disorder is warranted.

ADHD test for kids: A woman's hand filling out a checklist of symptoms of ADD in children
Hand of woman with ADHD filling out a self diagnosis test

Medically reviewed by ADDitude’s ADHD Medical Review Panel

Does My Child Have ADD? Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Children

Common signs of attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children include:

  • difficulty focusing
  • difficulty controlling impulses
  • inability to make friends
  • habitually disorganized and running late
  • overly energetic

Your child will not (and should not) receive a formal 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, which also specifies where and how often signs of ADD must be exhibited and the extent to which they must interfere with daily life before a diagnosis is warranted.

[Interactive Screener: Could Your Child Have Signs of ADD?]

ADHD in Children: A Symptom Self-Test for Kids

Check off each of the following statements that applies to your child in the following ADHD test for kids:
NOTE: This ADHD test for kids is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.

What Are the Signs of ADD Distractibility?

The first part of the ADHD test for kids covers signs of distractibility. These signs are sometimes called inattentive symptoms, or previously, ADD symptoms in children.

  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.

[Free Downloadable Guide: How Is ADHD Diagnosed?]

What Are the Signs of ADHD Hyperactivity in Kids?

The second part of the ADHD test for kids 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.

What To Do Next:

1. Take This Test: Does My Child Have ADHD / ADD?
2. Take This Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children
3. Take This Test: Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
4. Understand How ADHD is Diagnosed in Children
5. Find an ADHD specialist nearby in our ADDitude Directory
6. Download The Parents’ Guide to ADHD Medications
7. Listen to Dr. William Dodson Explain How ADHD Shapes Perceptions, Emotions & Motivation
8. Consult Our Treatment Guide for Children



Updated on July 19, 2019

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