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List of the Common Symptoms of ADHD

written by: Lynn-nore Chittom • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 1/27/2011

Sorting through the most common symptoms of ADHD to familiarize yourself with the disorder does not have to be a difficult or time consuming process. Read on to see a list of the most common symptoms of ADHD.

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    Common Symptoms of ADHD: ADHD Types

    Since 1994 Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has been subdivided into three subtypes. Those types are ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type, ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type and ADHD Combined Type. For a diagnosis to be made, it is necessary for at least six symptoms listed to be present for at least six months and for the symptoms to begin prior to age seven. The following lists show common symptoms of ADHD as they fit into these three subtypes.

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    ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type

    ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type was formerly described as ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity. Individuals with this subtype of ADHD do not typically struggle with symptoms associated with hyperactivity in ways that affect their performance at school or social skills at home or with their peers. Their primary struggle is with external stimuli. They are very easily distracted and therefore have difficulty concentrating on their work, be it at school or on the job.

    Individuals with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type will exhibit at least six of the following symptoms.

    • Difficulty focusing and following detailed instructions
    • Difficulty focusing on work or activities that require sustained focus
    • Trouble completing assignments, chores, activities or projects
    • Procrastination or avoidance of projects which require sustained focus
    • Forgetfulness
    • Tendency to lose things such as homework, toys, keys, important papers, etc.
    • Tendency toward carelessness and errors in handwriting
    • Frequently distracted by stimuli in surrounding environment
    • Difficulty staying on task
    • Difficulty staying organized
    • Constantly daydreaming

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    ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type

    ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type is the subtype of ADHD most commonly associated with this disorder. With hyperactivity at its core, this form of ADHD is easily recognized by both parents and teachers, often before a firm diagnosis is even possible. Individuals who struggle with ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type are always in motion. To meet their need for movement adults with the disorder may be involved in extreme sports or other risk-taking behaviors. Their tendency toward impulsivity may be evident in their work and in their social lives. Individuals with this ADHD subtype are multi-taskers by nature and often do so while humming and tapping.

    The following is a list of common symptoms of ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type.

    • Difficulty sitting still
    • Frequently moving, tapping, and fidgeting
    • Trouble remaining seating when it is expected, such as in the classroom or at work
    • Running and climbing when sitting, walking or waiting is expected
    • Difficulty playing quietly
    • Constantly being in motion
    • Constantly talking, humming or making other sounds
    • Difficulty holding back a response so they blurt out an answer
    • Impulsivity
    • Trouble waiting his/her turn
    • Frequently interrupting others

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    ADHD Combined Type

    The common symptoms of ADHD Combined Type are those present in both of the above lists. While some individuals demonstrate symptoms from only one of the two lists, others exhibit significant symptoms from both lists.