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ADHD (which stand for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a condition of the brain that makes it hard for children to control their behavior. All children struggle at times to pay attention, listen and follow directions, sit quietly, or wait their turn. But for those with ADHD the struggles are harder, they happen more frequently, and they cause distress at home or school and social environments.

Children with ADHD don't all look the same. One child with ADHD may present as a daydreamer; forgetful and easily distracted. Another child may present as constantly in motion, fidgety, and overly talkative. A third child may demonstrate a mixture of these symptoms.

It can be difficult to tell the difference at times between ADHD and typical development in children. But if your child shows a number of ADHD symptoms (listed below) that are present at home or school or with friends, it's time to take a closer look.


Children with ADHD who are primarily inattentive may show the following signs:

  • Often has difficulty paying attention; daydreams

  • Often does not seem to listen 

  • Often is easily distracted

  • Often shows inattention to detail/makes seemingly careless mistakes

  • Often demonstrates a hard time following through on or finishing tasks

  • Often appears disorganized/loses things frequently

  • Often seems forgetful

  • Often avoids tasks that require mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)


Children with ADHD who are primarily hyperactive or impulsive may show the following signs:

  • Often presents as if driven by a motor, constantly in motion

  • Often fidgets or squirms

  • Often has difficulty staying seated

  • Often moves quickly from one activity to another

  • Often has difficulty waiting or taking turns

  • Often interrupts other people or calls out answers before a question is complete

  • Often talks excessively

  • Often runs, jumps, or climbs on things when it is inappropriate or not permitted

  • Often has difficulty playing quietly

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