Signs and Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in Adults and Children

girl stare windowDo you think your child may have ADD/ADHD? What about your spouse or yourself? ADD/ADHD can present differently in children than in adults, and the symptoms for both age groups can mimic those of other problems. Here is a brief list of symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children and in adults. Please note that just because one of these symptoms looks familiar doesn’t mean someone has AD/HD (ADD). It takes a trained physician to determine a diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in Children

According to experts, most signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD in children appear before the age of seven. It’s a good idea to distinguish between “normal childhood behavior” and ADD/ADHD, which is something a qualified health professional can help you with. Here are some of the signs of this disorder in children.

Staring off into space – This is a symptom of ADD that many people may not recognize, since many people associate these disorders with hyperactivity. One of the reasons why there is a distinction made between ADD and ADHD is because hyperactivity is not necessarily a component of ADD. A child who is a “dreamer” and seems detached from reality, staring out the window for long periods rather than paying attention, may have ADD.

Chronic fidgeting – Yes, nearly all children fidget. In children with ADD/ADHD, though, it may be a compulsive, repetitive behavior that is distracting and disruptive. When a child feels like he or she has to fidget, it may be ADD/ADHD rather than just childish wiggles.

Excessive talking – Children with ADD/ADHD tend to blurt out things at inappropriate times, and the things they blurt may be inappropriate. Even if corrected, children with ADD/ADHD seem unable to control this impulse.

Signs and Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in Adults

The workaholic – Adults with ADD/ADHD may be driven to work, work, work. This may tie in with “hyperfocus,” a somewhat ironic symptom of ADD/ADHD in adults. They may get so focused on a task or project that they completely lose track of the passage of time, the needs of their families, and so forth.

Extreme disorganization – In this day and age, many adults juggle many roles, and it’s not unusual to feel or be disorganized. In an adult with ADD/ADHD, however, it’s a chronic problem that may seriously inhibit their productivity. They are “buried” in clutter in the car, home, and office, and can’t seem to get out from under it.

Poor time management – If an adult has ADD/ADHD, he may feel like he can never “get it together.” Charts, notes, and lists only add to the clutter, and the person often feels overwhelmed by organizing even small tasks.

If any of these symptoms seems to describe you and/or your child, it’s important to seek out medical advice to get a proper diagnosis and to rule out nutritional deficiencies, low blood sugar, and other issues that may present similar symptoms.


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  1. Natalie M Valles teacher says:

    ADHD is a real disorder and there is brain science to back it up. Learn about it and come up with an idea of what will work for you or your child. Strategies!!!! And stick to it! With time, you’ll learn to accommodate for yourself and it will get better!