Is it ADHD? Use Our Checklist of Common Symptoms

Have you noticed patterns of distractibility, hypersensitivity, or forgetfulness in yourself or your child? It could be ADHD. Use this checklist to understand common symptoms and test your own behavior before seeking a diagnosis.

ADD/ADHD Time Management ADDitude Magazine

If you suspect that you have ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional for a diagnosis.

More ADHD Symptoms Information

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD , from DSM-V, American Psychiatric Association

ADHD Help: Recognizing Symptoms of Adult ADD from the World Health Organization

ADHD Symptoms

Attention deficit disorder is a neurological condition defined by a consistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning in at least two settings — for example, at school and at home. It impacts children and adults, boys and girls, and people of all backgrounds.

ADHD symptoms often look different in children than they do in adults. But this is universal: If you recognize the following symptoms in yourself or your loved one, and they persistently disrupt life for at least 6 months, you may be dealing with ADHD. If you suspect that you have ADD or ADHD, contact your medical health-care professional for a diagnosis .

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders checklist, at least six of the following ADHD symptoms often apply:


  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork , chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).
  • Loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
  • Forgetful in daily activities.

At least six of the following signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity often apply:


  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  • Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.

Think You Know the Facts About ADHD? Take the Quiz Now!

  • Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
  • Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor.”
  • Talks excessively.


  • Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed.
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

>>Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7.

>>Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).

>>There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

>>The symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder, and are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).

Learn more about common signs of ADHD in children.


Who Can Treat ADHD? How to choose the appropriate professional for diagnosing and treating ADHD. Download now!

Get This Free Download

TAGS: ADHD Symptoms

View Site in Mobile | Classic
Share by: