Symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms at Different Ages

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Symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms at Different Ages

ADHD symptoms may present differently in teenagers and adults than they do in children. They may be more subtle and less noticeable; however, they are just as important to identify.

Checklists of symptoms in youth and adults can be used as a starting point to help you recognize the symptoms of ADHD in your loved one, but are not meant to replace consultation with a qualified health care professional. An accurate diagnosis can be made only with a thorough clinical evaluation. It is important to share the information in the checklist with your doctor.

Examples of ADHD symptoms by age.

Children (6-12 Years)

  • Easily distracted
  • Has trouble organizing homework; homework contains careless mistakes and often is not completed
  • Blurts out answers in class before the question is completed
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others
  • Fails to complete chores at home
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn in games
  • Has trouble staying seated

Teenagers (13-17 Years)

  • Displays inner restlessness
  • Has trouble organizing schoolwork; shows poor follow-through
  • Hyperactivity may become less visible


  • Inattention/concentration problems
  • Has trouble with organization and does not plan ahead
  • Has difficulty initiating and completing projects
  • Shifts activities prematurely
  • Misjudges available time
  • Forgetful; often loses things
  • Makes impulsive decisions

Having some of these symptoms of ADHD does not necessarily mean your loved one has ADHD. Only a qualified health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.

You can learn more about the health care professionals who are qualified to diagnose ADHD by clicking here.