Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Symptoms of ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD continued...
Hyperactivity symptoms may be apparent in very young preschoolers and are nearly always present before the age of seven. Symptoms include:
- Fidgeting, squirming when seated
- Getting up frequently to walk or run around
- Running or climbing excessively when it's inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)
- Having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
- Always being 'on the go'
- Often talking excessively
Hyperactivity may vary with age and developmental stage.
Toddlers and preschoolers with ADHD tend to be constantly in motion, jumping on furniture, and having difficulty participating in sedentary group activities. For instance, they may have trouble listening to a story.
School-age children display similar behavior but with less frequency. They are unable to remain seated, squirm a lot, fidget, or talk excessively.
In adolescents and adults, hyperactivity may manifest itself as feelings of restlessness and difficulty engaging in quiet sedentary activities.
Impulsivity symptoms include:
- Difficulty delaying responses
- Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
- Difficulty awaiting one's turn
- Frequently interrupting or intruding on others to the point of causing problems in social or work settings
- Initiating conversations at inappropriate times
Impulsivity may lead to accidents such as knocking over objects or banging into people. Children with ADHD may also engage in potentially dangerous activities without considering the consequences. For instance, they may climb to precarious positions.
Many of these symptoms occur from time to time in normal youngsters. However, in children with ADHD they occur frequently -- at home and at school or when visiting with friends. They also interfere with the child's ability to function as other children of the same age or developmental level.
ADHD is diagnosed only when children consistently display some or all of the above behaviors in at least two settings, such as at home and in school, for at least six months.
Long-Term Prognosis With ADHD
Some children with ADHD -- approximately 20% to 30% -- develop learning problems that may not improve with ADHD treatment. Hyperactive behavior may be associated with the development of other disruptive disorders, particularly conduct and oppositional-defiant disorder. Why this association exists is not known.