Adhd screening quiz

Childhood/Teenage ADHD: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

ADHD affects millions of children and teens. These days, ADHD means more than just being ‘too hyper’ – it covers a wide range of behaviors.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common conditions diagnosed in children ages 2-17. It affects about 6 million (9.4%) children in the United States, according to the latest figures from 2016.

There’s a wide range of behaviors associated with ADHD. Many of which can look a lot like common childhood behaviors.

So, how do you know when your child’s symptoms are a sign they have ADHD?

Let’s take a deeper look at how ADHD looks in children and teens.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, meaning it can affect the way a person behaves and learns. Its major symptoms are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

Like with any condition, symptoms can look different from person to person. Every person with ADHD has different needs. Some may need more support, while others may need less.

And having any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that your child or teen has ADHD.

An evolving diagnosis

The term “attention deficit disorder” (ADD) was first introduced in 1980 in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — the reference manual used to diagnose mental conditions in the United States.

In 1994, the definition was revised to include three types of groups: the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type; the predominantly inattentive type; and the combined type (in the DSM-5, these are now referred to as “presentations”).

After this revision, ADD was considered outdated and no longer used.

You can find out more about ADHD facts and statistics here.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) has grouped ADHD into three types – predominately inattentive, predominately hyperactivity-impulsive, and a combination of both.

Predominately inattentive

This type of ADHD is characterized primarily by inattention and distractibility.

Children or teens with this type may be easily distracted and have difficulty staying organized, following directions, or completing a task.

Predominately hyperactive-impulsive type

Children or teens with this type of ADHD have symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. They may fidget, feel restless, interrupt others, talk a lot, and have a hard time sitting still (e.g., for a meal or doing school work).

Due to a higher chance of impulsive behaviors, children or teens with this type may be more likely to have accidents and injuries.

Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive

This is the most common type of ADHD. Children or teens with this combined type have both hyperactive and inattentive symptoms.

The type of ADHD your child or teen has will determine how they’ll be treated. The type can change over time, so treatment will likely change, too.

It’s normal for children to daydream in class, forget their homework, lose their toys, act without thinking, or have a hard time sitting still for long periods.

That’s why it can be challenging to tell whether your child has ADHD or if they’re acting like a “kid.” For some, these behaviors happen only in some situations and only occur every so often.

But for those with ADHD, these behaviors may be more severe and happen more frequently, often leading to problems at home, school, and with friends.

The impacts of ADHD on girls are different than boys, especially in peer relationships. The awareness of ADHD in girls is often missed as their symptoms generally are not as severe as they are in boys.

The symptoms of ADHD your child or teen has will depend on the type of ADHD they have. They may have some or all of these symptoms.

Some common ones include:

  • difficulty sitting still
  • easily distracted
  • trouble focusing or concentrating on tasks
  • forgetful in daily activities
  • loses things needed to complete a task/activity (e.g., school materials)
  • interrupts or intrudes on others (e. g., butts into conversations or games)
  • difficulty waiting their turn

You can find out more here about symptoms of childhood and teen ADHD.

Although ADHD is a common condition, the exact causes and risk factors for the condition are unknown. Many doctors and researchers believe a variety of factors may play a role in its development.

Genetics is one of those factors. A 2018 review of family, twin, and adoption studies shows that ADHD may run in families.

Research from 2008 suggests that low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine – which is associated with pleasure and reward – may also contribute to symptoms of ADHD.

More recent research suggests that children born prematurely or with a low birth weight have an increased chance of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Researchers are studying possible causes and risk factors of ADHD, such as brain injury and exposure to substance use during pregnancy.

Want to know more? You can find out more about causes and risk factors of childhood ADHD here.

Parents are usually the first to notice signs of ADHD in their child. If you notice symptoms of ADHD in your child or teen, you can talk with your pediatrician about an evaluation for the condition.

There’s no medical or blood test for ADHD. But doctors will look at your child’s behavior to help them make a diagnosis.

Your doctor will likely gather information about their behavior in different settings – at school, home, or with friends – from teachers, family members, and any other adults involved in their care.

A rating scale and other sources, such as a checklist, may be used to document symptoms and make sure that specific guidelines for diagnosing ADHD have been met.

The average age of diagnosis is 7 years old. But severe ADHD can be diagnosed as early as 5 years old.

During the evaluation, the doctor will also work to determine if another condition may be causing the symptoms or if another condition is occurring simultaneously. Among children ages 2-17 diagnosed with ADHD, nearly two-thirds (64%) also had another co-existing condition, such as anxiety or depression.

If your doctor suspects ADHD, they may refer you to an ADHD specialist. Before your appointment, it may helpful to make a list of your child’s behaviors and gather any observations or notes from teachers and counselors to provide to your doctor.

If parents can, consider an independent evaluation by a psychologist who specializes in these conditions. Depending on the diagnosis, you may also be referred to a child psychiatrist or neurologist for additional testing.

Given the amount of information available about ADHD and its stigma, it’s not uncommon for parents to have concerns after their child receives an ADHD diagnosis.

But the good news is that ADHD is treatable, and with the right treatment plan, you can learn to manage those behaviors and improve symptoms.

The most common treatments for this condition include medication, behavioral therapies, or both.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends behavioral therapy as a first-line treatment for children younger than 6. For children 6 years and older, a combination of behavior therapy and medication is recommended.

Behavioral therapy is often used to help you and your child or teen learn to monitor and manage their behavior. It typically also involves parent training in behavior management.

Another type of therapy, psychotherapy or talk therapy, may also be used to help manage behavior. In talk therapy, you and your child or teen will talk about how ADHD affects your daily lives, and the therapist will give you tools to use to help manage it.

Medication, such as stimulants or non-stimulants, may also be helpful in managing behavior and improving symptoms. These medications work by acting on chemicals in the brain – dopamine and norepinephrine.

You can take a deeper dive into ADHD treatments in children and teens here.

After a diagnosis of ADHD, many parents can feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.

And that’s OK. You’re not alone. If you work closely with your child’s doctor, you can learn to monitor your child’s behaviors and make changes along the way to help manage those behaviors.

Your child’s school may also be a part of your management plan. ADHD qualifies for a 504 plan, which schools developed to support kids with disabilities. In fact, the AAP recommends adding classroom intervention strategies and school support to a behavioral therapy plan for ADHD.

Finding the right management plan can take a little trial and error, but once you find one that works for you and your family, it will be worth it.

Remember, not every child with ADHD has the same needs and routines, and what works for one may not work for another.

For some, it may be helpful to make a daily to-do list to help them stay organized and on track throughout the day. For others, creating calendar reminders and alarms helps them stay on task.

It’s important to find the approach that fits you and your family and helps make managing daily tasks and activities easier for you.

If you want to know more, you can find more tips for living with ADHD here.

If you think your child or teen has ADHD, you’ve already taken the first step — educating yourself about the condition.

The AAP recommends talking with your child’s doctor as the next step. They can refer you to a specialist who will provide an in-depth evaluation and make a diagnosis.

There are also organizations that can provide additional information, support, and resources to help you and your family manage the tasks of everyday life.

Some organizations that can help include:

  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
  • ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
  • National Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)

If you want to find out more about resources for ADHD, click here.

Having a Bad ADHD Day? These Tips May Help

When ADHD symptoms intensify, you might feel you’re having a “bad ADHD day.” There’s a way to manage severe ADHD symptoms, and in some cases, prevent them.

When you live with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there are days when your symptoms may fade into the background. But on other days, they’re front and center, interfering with your daily activities.

At times, it might not be clear what caused your ADHD symptoms to intensify. Some of these severe attention deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms may be the effects of untreated ADHD in adults. Other times, it may be some of your habits or experiences.

Those days you feel your ADHD is so bad may feel challenging to handle, but there are ways to manage your severe symptoms and cope with the situation.

Adult ADHD varies greatly from person to person, so everyone’s bad days may be different. What is manageable for you may not be for someone else.

Here’s what a “bad day” might feel like or one that could make you wonder “why is my ADHD so bad today?”:

Taking hours to do something you think will take minutes

For marriage and family therapist Cameron Hunter, who was diagnosed with ADHD at 37, frustration arises when he takes longer to complete a task than he thinks it should.

“The temptation there is to get overwhelmed and shut down,” says Hunter, who has a private practice in Vancouver, Washington.

For many people with ADHD, procrastination or not being able to accomplish tasks on time, or at all, triggers a shame spiral — particularly if you’ve been called “lazy” or told you can’t handle things, explains Hunter.

Forgetting something super important

You didn’t just forget your keys. No. You forgot that today’s the day of your big work presentation. Or you realized it’s your partner’s birthday. The morning of.

Here’s the thing about forgetfulness: At times, it’s not a sign of a thoughtless spouse or careless worker.

In fact, forgetfulness occurring more often is a hallmark symptom of ADHD. It’s related to having difficulty with working memory.

Working memory is a kind of filing cabinet in your brain that stores short-term information, and it often becomes impaired when you have adult ADHD, particularly on a bad day.

Having to do something you don’t want to do

You have to finish or start a project for work or school, and for you, it’s deeply boring. So, you sit at your desk, agonizing about how awful it is.

Still, you appreciate the gravity of not getting it done, but as your anxiety peaks, everything becomes even more challenging.

“Being bored is like being asphyxiated. It cannot be endured for more than a minute or so. When bored, the person with ADD feels compelled to do something immediately to bring the world back up to speed,” explains Edward M. Hallowell in his seminal book “Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder” for people with this disorder,

This isn’t a personal flaw. It’s how the ADHD brain works. On a bad ADHD day, you may feel even more bored and unmotivated.

Feeling anxious and worried

On a bad ADHD day, you may be feeling overwhelmed with dread. Your brain may be buzzing with what-ifs, making it harder to focus on the tasks you need to complete.

  • What if I can’t get this done?
  • What if I fail the final exam?
  • What if they’re mad at me?

Your body may also feel restless when ADHD symptoms intensify, and you may grow incredibly uncomfortable in your own skin.

At a certain point, the worries may keep you from completing what you’re working on. This, in turn, may make you feel defeated.

On a given day, many things can intensify your ADHD symptoms, some of which you can manage. Everyone is different and may have different tolerance levels for specific triggers, though.

Here are some of the potential causes of ADHD symptoms getting worse:

1. Not enough exercise

A 2020 research review showed that regular exercise can have a range of benefits for people with ADHD, both immediate and long-term. Some of these benefits are:

  • improvements in attention
  • mood regulation
  • greater motivation
  • less general fatigue
  • decreased depression symptoms

If you’ve been skipping working out or leading a sedentary life, you might feel your ADHD symptoms are more severe on some days. You could feel stressed, restless, or upset and with less ability to focus.

2. Not managing your stress levels

“As your stress levels rise, you may become more forgetful, have more trouble focusing, and it might make you feel more frustrated,” says Risa Williams, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, and author of “The Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit.”

A 2020 study suggested that stress increases depression symptoms in college students with ADHD.

According to a 2015 research review, stress also affects the prefrontal cortex by reducing the firing of neurons and impairing cognitive abilities.

On days you’re even more stressed, you may feel you’re having a very bad ADHD day. In fact, it’s the stress that’s causing your symptoms, not necessarily your ADHD.

Stress management techniques may then help you prevent ADHD symptoms from getting worse.

Engaging in relaxation techniques every day can prevent severe symptoms when you’re handling a lot of stress.

3. Experiencing hormonal shifts

Psychotherapist and ADHD expert Terry Matlen, regularly hears from women who worry “because their brains are shutting down.”

“Word retrieval, short-term memory, and other related symptoms begin to take hold of these women and they often become very, very afraid and frustrated,” explains Matlen, who has a practice in Birmingham, Michigan.

Women may also notice ADHD symptoms worsen before or during their periods when there’s a reduction in estrogen levels.

“They feel like they’re in a fog and can’t get things done. They often feel depressed, anxious, and irritable,” adds Matlen, author of “The Queen of Distraction.”

Talking with your doctor about ways to balance your hormones and reduce PMS symptoms, may help you avoid bad ADHD days.

4. Being sensitive to rejection

For some people with ADHD, rejection can be particularly difficult to manage. In fact, rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is common, says Adrienne Clements, a psychotherapist in Austin, who specializes in ADHD.

Clements, who has also received an ADHD diagnosis, notes that rejection sensitivity “leads to intense emotional overwhelm and flooding when the person perceives or actually experiences rejection.”

Dealing with emotional pain from rejection can actually intensify ADHD symptoms and make you feel you’re having a bad day.

5. Having overlapping symptoms

“ADHD rarely travels alone,” says Matlen. It’s common for ADHD to co-occur with other mental health conditions.

According to this 2017 research review, about half of adults with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. Between one-fifth to one-half of adults with ADHD also experience depression.

Whether you’re receiving treatment for anxiety or depression, on some days, due to the nature of these disorders, you may experience more intense ADHD symptoms.

Even though bad ADHD days can be draining, they can also serve as valuable lessons, says Matlen. Consider identifying what adds to your bad days and come up with specific solutions.

Of course, not every bad day can be prevented. But there are also helpful ways you can cope with severe ADHD symptoms.

1. Keep a journal

To better understand your bad days, consider tracking your symptoms and writing about your experiences.

Having this kind of information can help you plan ahead or take care of yourself. Journaling can also help you release stress and manage emotions better.

2. Work with your health professional

If you’re experiencing many bad ADHD days lately, over time and based on various factors, you might need to change your medication or other treatment interventions.

You may want to talk with your health professional about worsening symptoms. They might recommend switching doses or medications, or they may be able to help you identify why your ADHD is so bad lately.

You may also want to work with a psychotherapist and an ADHD coach who can help you develop new coping skills for severe symptoms.

3. Change your self-talk

To feel less overwhelmed, it may be advisable to use encouraging self-talk while focusing moment to moment, says Hunter. You might tell yourself: “I can handle this,” or “One word or step at a time.”

Hunter also suggests pairing compassionate self-talk with deep breathing or mindfulness to further reduce anxiety on bad days or whenever you anticipate your symptoms may worsen.

4. Move in fun ways

Exercise is “really about embodied movement in whatever way feels good and is interesting for you,” says Clements.

“Perhaps that’s dancing around the kitchen to your favorite music or embracing your inner kid and swinging on a swing set or jumping on a trampoline — as long as your body is moving, that helps regulate the ADHD nervous system,” she says.

5. Use systems

While the best strategies differ for each person, in general, “with ADHD if things are out of sight, they’re out of mind,” says Clements, so easy-to-see systems are typically most effective.

This can include putting dry-erase boards with reminders — like a written-out self-care plan — in different areas of your house and keeping nutritious foods in the fridge or on the counter, not in a drawer or pantry, she says.

6. Soothe your rejection

While you can’t prevent rejection and might not be able to stop the initial sting, you can mute it a bit.

One tip to handle rejection is to ask someone who cares about you to “remind you that you are worthy, capable, and loved and that this RSD episode will pass,” says Clements.

Another strategy, especially if you’re having a bad ADHD day that feels overwhelming, is healthy sensory-based practices that distract your nervous system from the threatening feeling of rejection, she says. For example:

  • holding an ice cube
  • splashing cold water on your face
  • smelling a strong scent, like an essential oil
  • practicing progressive muscle relaxation

7. Outsource

If your budget allows, says Matlen, consider hiring a cleaning service and having more than enough child care — “even when you’re home, so you can relax in your own bedroom or tub.”

For tighter budgets, you may want to tap your network. If you’re having bad ADHD days lately, consider asking family and friends to help you handle tasks that are especially draining for you.

8. Have your own stress-reducing tool kit

To keep stress at bay, consider identifying your pain points and understanding how stress affects you, so you can intervene before it magnifies, says Williams.

Also, it may be a good idea to have a personalized tool kit in place so it helps you calm your brain and body quickly. Williams notes that this can be as simple as taking a walk or a few deep breaths.

9. Be mindful of medication

If you have a difficult time taking your meds consistently, Clements says these reminder tips may help:

  • Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
  • Make the alarm difficult to ignore — bright with lots of emojis.
  • Leave your meds out somewhere visible.
  • Get a timer top for your prescription bottle that tells you the last time you opened it.
  • Ask your doctor and insurance provider if they’ll cover a 90-day supply.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when you’re in the thick of a bad ADHD day. But bad ADHD days shall pass too.

If they don’t, and you feel your adult ADHD symptoms are worsening, it might be helpful to reassess what’s throwing you off, says Matlen.

Talking with a therapist, ADHD coach, or another health professional may be of great support during these times.

ADHD symptom test

The ADHD test includes many different symptoms that in one way or another indicate the presence of this mental disorder. However, the severity of the disease and its symptoms can vary greatly.

This test incorporates the results of previous studies to ensure the validity and reliability of the results for identifying symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Do you have symptoms of ADHD? For each following statement, indicate how much you agree with it.

The ADHD test (IDR-ADHDST) is owned by IDRlabs. It builds on the work of Dr. Lenard Adler and colleagues who created the ADHD Questionnaire (ASRS). This test is not affiliated with any particular researcher or organization in the field of psychopathology.

The ADHD symptom test is based on material that has been published in the following sources: Kessler RC, Adler L, Ames M, Demler O, Faraone S, Hiripi E, Howes MJ, Jin R, Secnik K, Spencer T, Ustun TB , Walters EE. The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population. Psychol Med. 2005 Feb;35(2):245-56. doi:10.1017/s0033291704002892. PMID: 15841682; Adler LA, Spencer T, Faraone SV, Kessler RC, Howes MJ, Biederman J, Secnik K. Validity of pilot Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) to Rate Adult ADHD symptoms. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2006 Jul-Sep;18(3):145-8. doi: 10.1080/10401230600801077. PMID: 16923651; Adler, L., Faraone, S., Sarocco, P., Atkins, N., Khachatryan, A. (2018). Establishing US norms for the adult ADHD self-report scale and characterizing symptom burden among adults with self-reported ADHD. The International Journal of Clinical Practice.

The work of Dr. Adler and colleagues looks at the main symptoms of ADHD. This work also describes certain diagnostic criteria that are intended for clinical use by qualified mental health professionals. This test provides information for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and this test are in no way affiliated with the above researchers, organizations or institutions.

The ADHD symptom test is based on known research on the condition and other psychiatric disorders. However, all free online tests like this one are only introductory materials that will not be able to determine your inherent qualities with absolute accuracy and reliability. Therefore, our test provides information for educational purposes only. Detailed information about your mental state can only be provided by a certified specialist.

As the authors of this free online ADHD symptom ratio test, we have made every effort to ensure that this test is reliable and valid through numerous validations and statistical data controls. However, free online tests like this provide information "as is" and should not be construed as providing professional or certified advice of any kind. For more information about our online tests, please see our Terms of Service.

ADD(H) test for adults


Forgot password

Remember me

Register now

The SDVG.LIFE site is a continuation of the book and therefore new materials must meet the same standards as the book.

Hence the rules for discussion participants:

  • - Civilized intellectual communication
  • - No personal attacks
  • - No policy

Pre-moderation has been introduced for the first few posts.


Create account

Adult ADHD Test

ADD(H) test for adolescents and adults 17 years of age and older, in accordance with the methodology of the American DSM-V guide.

Number of questions: 18 .

For more information, see the article from the Notes.


To answer "Yes", the symptom must be:

- Stable during the last 6 months .

- Was expressed in measure not corresponding to the level of development .

- Had a negative impact on academic performance and/or professional activities .


The test is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any disease.

Consult a doctor for diagnosis.



Often makes nervous movements with hands or feet, or fidgets and wriggles while sitting in a chair.




Often interrupts or annoys others.

For example, breaks into conversation, games or activities without invitation; can use other people's things without asking; for teenagers or adults - they can interfere with someone else's work or continue someone else's work themselves.




Often has difficulty waiting in line.

For example, in the shop or at the game.




Often blurts out an answer before the question has been fully asked.

For example, completes sentences when others are speaking; cannot wait for their turn to join the conversation.




Often too talkative.




It is often in constant motion and behaves as if a motor was attached to it.

For example, absolutely unable or unable to stay comfortably in one place in restaurants or meetings; perhaps people around him consider him a restless person or a person with whom it is difficult to deal with.




Often has difficulty playing or spending leisure time quietly.




Often runs back and forth without restraint or climbs in situations where this is unacceptable.

Note: Teenagers and adults may not be running, jumping or climbing but may be restless and out of sorts.




Often leaves his seat in class or in other situations where the person is expected to be seated.

For example, leaving one's seat in a classroom, in an office or other place of work, or in other situations where one is expected to be seated.




Often fails to pay due attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, and other activities.

For example, does not notice or skips details, the work is not done accurately.




Often forgetful in daily activities.

For example, forgetfulness in housework, while doing errands; for older teenagers and adults - they forget to return calls, pay bills, come to a meeting or appointment (to a doctor, for example).




Often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. For older teenagers and adults, this includes thoughts that are inappropriate for the time / place.




Often loses things needed for lessons or classes.

For example, notebooks, textbooks, pencils, books, tools, keys, paper forms, glasses, mobile phones.




Often avoids, dislikes, or reluctantly takes on things that require sustained mental effort.

For example, schoolwork or school homework, for older teens and adults - preparing reports, filling out forms, studying long texts.




Often has difficulty organizing lessons and classes.

For example, trouble moving from one task in a chain to another, difficulty keeping materials and personal belongings in order, sloppy, unorganized work, poor time management, failing to complete work on time.




Often does not follow instructions to the end and does not complete class work, chores, or duties in the workplace.

For example, starts work, but quickly loses focus and easily wanders off topic.




Often it seems that he does not listen to the speech addressed to him.

For example, his mind wanders somewhere else, even if there is no obvious distraction.




Often has difficulty maintaining attention when performing tasks or during games.

Learn more