ADHD Children Behavior Characteristics

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Typical Behaviors of Children with ADHD

written by: Lynn-nore Chittom • edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • updated: 1/30/2011

Hyperactivity, lack of attention, and forgetfulness are all symptoms which can be common occurrences seen in ADHD children behavior. Behavior issues and trouble in school can often bring these symptoms to light. Read on to learn more about the typical behaviors of children with ADHD.

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    You Know It When You See It

    When discussing ADHD children behavior, we identify some common threads. Spotting ADHD is not as difficult as some would think. Pediatricians keep questionnaires for parents, teachers, and other caregivers who suspect that a child has ADHD. These questionnaires ask basic questions about how children behave, react, and respond in everyday life situations. In many cases, these questionnaires confirm what is already suspected, that these children have trouble with hyperactivity, lack of focus or both.

    Since 1994, ADHD has been broken down into three subtypes based on the typical symptoms of ADHD children. Behavior issues differ according to the type of ADHD a child has. The three subtypes of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type, ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type, and ADHD Combined Type. Regardless of the type, to be diagnosed with ADHD, children must exhibit three or more symptoms for a period of at least six months and symptoms must appear before age seven.

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    ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type

    Children love to run and play, but children with ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type are constantly in motion. They run through the grocery store. They climb on the furniture in the doctor's office. They crawl under the tables in Kindergarten. They sing-song and tap their feet all day long. Sitting down at dinner time is nearly impossible. They hop out of their seats in class and they literally jump at the chance to answer a question. Take them to the zoo or a children's museum or the playground, and its truly difficult to keep up. These real-life examples are often what cause parents to consider that their child may have ADHD. Here is a more complete list of typical behaviors for children with ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Type.

      • Difficulty remaining seated when that is expected of them
      • Blurting out answers
        • Frequently interrupting
        • Difficulty waiting their turn
        • Difficulty sitting still, always fidgeting
        • Runing or climbing inappropriately
        • Difficulty playing quietly
        • Difficulty remaining quiet, talking or making noises excessively
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          ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type

          The symptoms for children with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type are sometimes not as obvious as those with the Hyperactive Type. These children are the ones who sit and watch television and never seem to hear mom calling that dinner is ready. They try to do their homework but keep getting up to do something else, like get a drink or get something else from their backpack. They don't like projects that take a lot of construction and time. These children may seem to lack drive or commitment to their work, but demonstrate an ability to stick with a project they are enjoying for an inordinant amount of time. Here is a more complete listing for inattentive type ADHD children. Behavior issues should be present in multiple settings such as school, home, and other social settings, such as church, or day care.

          • Difficulty paying attention to details or instructions, particularly oral instructions
          • Difficulty remaining focused on tasks for long periods of time
          • Difficulty hearing instructions when focused on other things
          • Difficulty completing assignments, homework, chores, etc.
          • Disorganized, even when shown organizational methods
          • Avoids projects that require focus, ie homework or larger projects
          • Frequently loses things ie. toys, schoolwork, papers from school, etc.
          • Very easily distracted
          • Forgetful
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          ADHD Combined Type

          Some children demonstrate a combination of symptoms from the above lists. These children are diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type. Hopefully, with this guide at your side, you'll be better equipped to identify which type is apparent in the children you're concerned about.

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