ADHD Symptoms / Red Flags

Warning Signs That May Indicate a Child or Adolescent has ADHD

(Symptoms must be at a level of impairment, observed in two different settings

and before the age of 12 for a diagnosis to occur)

Possible Symptoms of Attention Dysregultion:

  • Difficulty regulating, switching and prioritizing attention, including over-focusing on stimulating activities
  • Easily distracted from the task at hand by noises or things going on around them
  • Frequently looking around
  • Difficulty staying focused on one activity
  • Daydreaming
  • Not focusing on speaker when spoken to
  • Unable to remember verbal instructions
  • Misinterpreting instructions
  • Unable to pay attention to details
  • Difficulty completing work without being reminded
  • Losing things
  • Difficulty organizing belongings and work
  • Difficulty starting things
  • Forgetting normal routines

Possible Symptoms of Hyperactivity:

  • Fidgeting and squirming
  • Problems remaining seated
  • Talking excessively and at inappropriate times
  • Often running and climbing
  • Standing instead of sitting at the table
  • Unable to settle into a quiet activity
  • Constantly on the go
  • Frequently handling or touching objects and other people

Possible Symptoms of Impulsivity:

  • Acting or reacting before considering consequences
  • Butting into conversations
  • Blurting out answers in the classroom
  • Beginning work before instructions are given
  • Disturbing others who are playing
  • Grabbing others belongings
  • Touching, grabbing hitting others
  • Problems waiting for turn or standing in line
  • Making impulsive decisions

Signs That May be Present in a Learning Environment

  • Inattention
  • Easily distracted
  • Incomplete work
  • Problems with getting homework done
  • Problems bringing homework and necessary books home
  • Difficulty remembering to hand work in
  • Not able to produce the same amount and/or level of school work as others
  • Need for repeated instructions
  • Misinterpreting instruction and questions on assignments or tests
  • Difficulty with handwriting
  • Difficulty understanding what is read
  • Careless errors
  • Problems paying attention to details
  • Problems with spelling and math
  • Problems with sequencing
  • Forgetting deadlines or difficulty completing work on time
  • Problems with organizing larger assignments and projects
  • Problems starting assignments
  • Frequent daydreaming and presenting as spacey
  • Excessive talking and interrupting others
  • Blurting out answers
  • Unable to sit still, constantly on the move
  • Touching, pushing and grabbing others or things impulsively
  • Interrupting others at play
  • Problems dealing with frustration
  • Tentative and unsure of trying new things and learning new skills
  • Reluctant to volunteer answers or be called upon
  • Does not make or keep friends easily
  • Unable to change focus or start and stop activities
  • Transitions or changes produce agitation or frustration

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