Seeing the Signs of ADD in Boys

Seeing the Signs of ADD in Boys
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ADD Signs Show in Play and Learning

Parents are normally the first ones to notice when their child’s behavior doesn’t reflect that of other children’s. When boys start acting different in play and learning tasks as they age, small signs can begin to show as an indication of a child with attention deficit disorder.

With learning activities like tying shoelaces, a child with ADD is quickly frustrated by not being able to complete the task. They may not remember how to tie the laces even after they have done so a few times successfully. A possible sign of ADD could be the child not concentrating on this task in hand. An inability to focus is just one of the signs of add in boys.

Since attention deficit disorder is a neurological developmental disability that inhibits a person’s attention span the signs and symptoms of the disorder are more noticeable as children get older. What may look like a common behavior in a five year old boy, can end up being an actual symptom of ADD when that same behavior has not changed as the child ages.

Boys and ADD

Because the biological makeup of boys and girls are different, there are difference as well in some of the signs and symptoms disorders. Many of the signs of add in boys are close to those seen in girls but may be more pronounced. The following are signs that show up in the developmental behavior of boys between the ages of 5 and 16 years old.

  • Inability to sustain attention during tasks or play
  • Inability to organize
  • Forgetful, often loses everyday objects
  • Inability to wait for their turn
  • Excessive energy, often fidgety
  • Inappropriate running or climbing
  • Interrupts frequently
  • Inability to listen to teachers or parents
  • Impulsive behavior such as acting out when not appropriate
  • Impulsive and restless aggression

Boys are more often known to have issues with hyperactivity and impulsive behavior than girls do. The energy levels appear to be higher in boys who will often show the signs listed above before the age of seven. The inattention and the impulsive behavior will become more apparent as they edge closer to their teen years and demonstrate an increasing inability to function in school and stay on task.

If you suspect that your child could have attention deficit disorder talk with your their teachers and local doctor who may suggest testing. For more information on diagnosis and treatment of ADD and ADHD see Insight into ADHD Diagnostic Criteria.

NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.


National Institute on Mental Health,

The Mayo Clinic,

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