ADHD: What Do Symptoms Look Like at Different Ages?

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People of different ages can show the same symptoms in different ways. Below are a few examples.

Find a complete list of ADHD symptoms.

Examples of ADHD symptoms by age.

Children (6-12 Years)

  • Easily distracted
  • Homework poorly organized, contains careless errors, often 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
  • Often out of seat

Teenagers (13-17 Years)

  • Displays inner restlessness
  • Schoolwork disorganized, shows poor follow-through
  • Hyperactivity may become less visible

Adult

  • Inattention/concentration problems
  • Disorganized and fails to plan ahead
  • 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 you have ADHD. It is important to see a qualified health care professional, such as a doctor or psychologist, who can properly diagnose ADHD.