ADHD Red Flags

Signs That May Indicate That a Child or Adolescent has ADHD:

Symptoms must be at a level of impairment to result in a diagnosis


Possible Symptoms on Inattention:
  • Distracted easily from the task at hand by noises or things going on around them
  • Looking around frequently
  • 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
  • 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
  • Stands instead of sitting at the table
  • Unable to settle into a quiet activity
  • Constantly on the go
  • Frequently handling or touching objects

Possible Symptoms of Impulsivity:
  • Butting into conversations
  • Blurting out answers in the classroom
  • Beginning work before instructions given
  • Disturbing others who are playing
  • Grabbing others belongings
  • Problems waiting for turn or standing in line
  • Making impulsive decisions

Signs that may be present in the Classroom
  • Inattention
  • Easily distracted
  • Incomplete work
  • Problems with getting homework done and remembering to hand it 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
  • Problems with reading
  • 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 and/or grabbing 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

Some of the Ways Girls May Present in the Classroom:

Inattentive Sub-type
  • Daydreamers
  • Not willing to take risks and easily discouraged
  • Shy
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • May be under active
  • Self blaming
  • Anxious and depressed
  • Anxiety around school performance

Hyperactive/Impulsive Sub-type or Combined
  • Hyperactivity may be expressed in being over talkative
  • Fidgety
  • Bossy
  • Risk taking
  • Unable to keep up with work load

Other traits:
  • Problems with times of transitions
  • Immature
  • Unable to read other's cues
  • May not have friends
  • Difficulty fitting in
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