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Insight into Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms

written by: Genevieve Van Wyden • edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • updated: 11/30/2010

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms can include impulsivity, distractibility or inattention and hyperactivity. If you’re worried that your child may have ADHD, learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms in order to spot them.

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    Overview

    Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms are more intense, more active, and more distractible. When you compare your child to your friend’s child, the differences are striking – one child is calm and stays with an activity while the other child bounces from toy to game to playing with the dog. In addition, this child seems to be in constant motion, as if powered by a little motor that doesn’t stop.

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    Inattention

    The child with ADHD displays an uneven scholastic record, making mistakes on homework assignments and tests, even though the material is familiar. When you ask about homework assignments, the response is often, “I don’t know,” or “I forgot to bring the paper home,” according to Psych Central.

    During classes, your child has a hard time paying attention to the teacher, and zones out, seemingly during the most critical part of classroom lessons and lectures. When the teacher is talking, your child does not seem to be listening.

    Long-term assignments give your child special difficulties. When the teacher gives instructions or hands out written information about these assignments, the information does not make it home because your child has forgotten it or lost it. The same holds true for routine homework assignments; if your child did the homework, it may get lost somewhere between home and the classroom. This is not because your child has refused to do the work. Instead, it is because the ability to organize and use higher executive functions is literally physically beyond your child’s ability. In fact, time management and organizational skills are concepts difficult for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms to understand and learn. For this reason, your child does not like to work on tasks requiring sustained mental effort. When you ask your child where pencils, scratch paper, a calculator, textbook or workbook are, the normal response is, “I forgot them at school.”

    Children displaying ADHD behaviors, primarily inattentive, are easily distracted, for instance by a favorite television program or song. [1]

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    Impulsivity

    A child with ADHD can be impulsive – it is difficult to wait for the next turn on the playground, for instance. During class, when the child is able to pay attention and follow what the teacher is teaching, it is difficult to resist shouting out answers.

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    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms: Recognize to EmpathizeSpotting Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms is the first step toward understanding the errant behavior of the child with this disorder. Here, we continue to discuss ADHD symptoms to raise awareness and empathy.
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    Impulsivity Cont.

    Because the child with ADHD is afraid of losing a thought; parents, siblings, classmates, and friends are often interrupted by “Guess what?” The impulsivity makes it difficult for children with ADHD to read social situations and cues, so they intrude and butt into games without asking ahead of time if they can join in, according to Psych Central. [1]

    Children with ADHD find it difficult to resist impulsive behaviors, meaning they act on their thoughts without thinking the consequences through (“If I climb this tall tree, I may not be able to get back down safely. I could break a bone.”) Instead, they’ll follow their impulse and climb the tree.

    The child with ADHD is also unable to resist saying something without thinking about the potential impact on the listener, (“You know, sis, that skirt makes you look . . . fat.”) according to MedicineNet. [2]

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    Hyperactivity

    The child with ADHD who is physically hyperactive is unable to regulate physical activity, according to MedicineNet. MedicineNet goes on to say that children with ADHD, display “developmentally inappropriate levels” of activity. [2]

    Children with ADHD frequently fidget while in their seats at school, squirming or fidgeting with hands and feet. These are the children who frequently bounce up out of their desks, racing to the pencil sharpener or to the water fountain in the corner of the classroom, needing to expel excess energy. During recess, they race around the playground, climbing the monkey bars. Away from the classroom, parents and other adults find they need to keep a very close eye on the child with ADHD because of their propensity for climbing dangerously high (up into tall trees or onto a high roof).

    This is the child with attention deficit disorder hyperactivity disorder symptoms, who wakes up immediately on the go, as if powered by a small motor. Even when engaged in a normally quiet activity like playing a board game, this child has to be wiggling a leg or drumming a pencil, according to Psych Central. [1]

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    References

    [1] http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx1.htm Psych Central: Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms

    [2] http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=22329 MedicineNet: Definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder