Do you have concerns that some of the symptoms or behavior your child has been exhibiting could actually reflect the characteristics of a child with ADHD? There are several signs that could potentially point to the fact that your child is suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, but since many of these symptoms could also point to something else entirely—conditions such as learning disabilities or psychological disorders—it is always wise to seek a medical diagnosis before jumping to conclusions. To help you decide if a doctor’s visit is warranted, below we have outlined some of the more common characteristics of a child with ADHD, with a full description of each of them.According to doctors, as a parent or a teacher you must keep in mind that not all children who appear out of control and disruptive necessarily have ADHD, and even more surprising is that not all children with ADHD will be out of control and disruptive. While that type of behavior could certainly be one of the characteristics of a child with ADHD, it is not the only one. Some children with ADHD are extremely withdrawn, and may sit quietly at their desks with their attention miles away. Others may be only mildly inattentive, but may act very impulsively or inappropriately. This brings us to the three primary characteristics of a child with ADHD.
3 Common Characteristic of a Child with ADHD
The 3 main characteristics of a child with ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, but this does not mean a child will consistently demonstrate all 3 of these characteristics simultaneously. Doctors say it all depends on which one of these characteristics is predominant, and they offer the following descriptions of each characteristic to help parents and teachers spot the symptoms.
Characteristics of a Child with ADHD: Inattention
While it’s true that one of the characteristics of a child with ADHD is inattention, this does mean they are incapable of paying attention. In fact, in performing tasks they enjoy, many children with ADHD can be extremely attentive. However when the task at hand is uninteresting to them, usually one that involves repetition, their attention span tends to be markedly brief. Other signs of inattention can include:
- Difficulty staying on track, such as bouncing from one task to another
- Failure to heed details before attempting a task
- Making careless mistakes
- Becomes very easily distracted
- Tunes people out or pretends not to hear
- Organizational difficulties
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequently misplaces items, including homework, shoes, toys, etc.
Characteristics of a Child with ADHD: Hyperactivity
Of all the characteristics of a child with ADHD, hyperactivity is the most outward sign, which is why many people erroneously assume it is the only effect of this condition. Some of the primary symptoms of hyperactivity include:
- Difficulty sitting still—fidgets or squirms in his/her seat
- Constantly getting up when it is inappropriate to do so
- Seems to be constantly in motion
- Talks often and excessively
- Can be quick tempered or aggressive
- Difficulty relaxing
Characteristics of a Child with ADHD: Impulsivity
Impulsivity is another one of the characteristics of a child with ADHD, a symptom that makes it difficult for children to maintain self-control or to censor their own behavior. Signs of impulsivity may include:
- Impulsive actions—acts without thinking
- Disruptive at home and in the classroom
- Intrudes on others inappropriately
- Speaks without regard for timing—saying the wrong thing at the wrong time
- Guesses at problems instead of trying to solve them logically
The characteristics of a child with ADHD, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, can occur simultaneously or independent from each other. If your child has experienced any of these symptoms for any measurable period, it may be time to seek a doctor’s opinion and to find help to correct the problem.