Attention deficit disorder checklist for children

Symptom Test for Kids, Tweens & Teens

Does My Child Have ADHD? Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Kids

Common signs of attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children include:

  • difficulty focusing
  • difficulty controlling impulses
  • inability to make friends
  • habitually disorganized and running late
  • overly energetic

Your child will not (and should not) receive a formal ADHD diagnosis just because he is distractible or restless.

He or she must meet the criteria for ADHD symptoms in children outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which also specifies where and how often signs of ADD must be exhibited and the extent to which they must interfere with daily life before a diagnosis is warranted.

[Interactive Screener: Could Your Child Have Signs of ADHD?]

ADHD in Children: A Symptom Self-Test for Kids

Check off each of the following statements that applies to your child in the following ADHD test for kids:
NOTE: This ADHD test for kids is not intended to diagnose or to replace the care of a health care professional.


What Are the Signs of ADD Distractibility? Symptoms of ADHD with Inattention

The first part of the ADHD test for kids covers signs of distractibility. These signs are sometimes called inattentive symptoms, or previously, ADD symptoms in children.

  1. My child has trouble paying attention.
  2. My child makes careless mistakes.
  3. It’s very difficult for my child to stay focused on homework or other tasks.
  4. My child rarely completes an activity before moving to the next activity.
  5. Even when spoken to directly, my child seems to not listen.
  6. My child is disorganized and even with my help can’t seem to learn how to become organized.
  7. My child loses things necessary for tasks or activities, such as toys, homework assignments, pencils, books, and so on.
  8. My child tries to avoid activities or does them grudgingly when they require sustained concentration and a lot of mental effort.
  9. My child frequently forgets to do things, even when constantly reminded.
  10. Even the smallest distractions throw my child off task.
  11. My child has trouble following instructions and finishing tasks.

If you checked off five or more symptoms — and these symptoms have been a persistent problem interfering in your child’s life at home and at school — he or she may have inattentive type ADHD. It would be prudent to talk with a physician or a licensed mental health practitioner.

[Download: In-Depth Guide to Inattentive ADHD]

What Are the Signs of ADHD Hyperactivity in Kids?

The second part of the ADHD test for kids covers hyperactivity and impulsivity.

  1. Sometimes my child acts as if she/he is driven by a motor and is constantly “on the go.”
  2. My child always seems to be squirming in the chair or fidgeting.
  3. No matter how hard he/she tries, my child has problems remaining seated even when she/he is supposed to — he/she gets up, runs around, or climbs during class or in other situations where one should stay seated.
  4. My child talks a lot, even when she/he has nothing much to say.
  5. My child often interferes in the classroom because she/he has difficulty engaging in quiet activities without disturbing others.
  6. In class or at home, my child blurts out answers to questions before they are fully asked.
  7. My child has difficulty waiting patiently to take turns, and frequently butts ahead in lines or grabs toys from playmates.
  8. Sometimes my child seems intrusive. She/he interrupts constantly other peoples’ activities, conversations, and games.

If you checked off five or more symptoms — and these symptoms have been a persistent problem interfering in your child’s life at home and at school — he or she may have attention deficit disorder. It would be prudent to talk with a physician or a licensed mental health practitioner.

Take this form with you to the doctor’s office. Treatments are available for ADHD in children that can reduce substantially these neurologically based behaviors.

What To Do Next:

1. Download The Parents’ Guide to ADHD Medications
2. Take This Test: Does My Child Have ADHD / ADD?
3. Take This Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children
4. Take This Test: Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
5. Understand How ADHD is Diagnosed in Children65. Find an ADHD specialist nearby in our ADDitude Directory
6.Listen to Dr. William Dodson Explain How ADHD Shapes Perceptions, Emotions & Motivation
7.Consult Our Treatment Guide for Children

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90,000 ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Lecture for teachers.

Aleksandrova T.V., teacher-psychologist GBU DO TsPMSP Vasileostrovskiy district

various pathologies. Especially "lucky with advertising" neurological pathologies. They allegedly expand and multiply with indomitable speed, and some especially tabloid newspapers and magazines are very fond of throwing catchy headlines on the cover like “There are no more healthy children in St. Petersburg” or “A generation of freaks is coming!”. In some ways, they, newspapers and magazines, of course, can be understood, since competition in the publishing world is very high. Yes, and there are objective reasons for concern. But the attentive reader must approach all these "revelations" with great caution. And don't panic ahead of time. That's why. nine0007

  1. In the last two decades of the past century, the diagnosis of neurological diseases in young children has changed and improved dramatically. In addition to the traditional neurological hammer, new research methods have appeared and become widespread, such as ultrasound diagnostics, tomography, and sonography. Based on this, it can be assumed that many neurological defects in newborns and young children were simply not diagnosed before, and therefore were not included in the statistics. That is, there were fewer not sick, but diagnoses. nine0012
  2. New groups of drugs have appeared that improve blood circulation in the brain, stimulate learning and memory, and gently affect other higher integrative functions of the brain. At the same time, they have a minimum of side effects. Naturally, practitioners use them in a wider range of cases. A child with minimal disorders, who twenty or even ten years ago would have been left without treatment at all (or prescriptions would have been limited to massage and vitamin intake), is now receiving drug therapy (for example, some drug from the nootropic group that has a positive neurometabolic effect). nine0012
  3. The common newspaper and magazine thesis that, they say, there used to be a wonderful ecology, everyone ate natural products, lived in nature and therefore were healthy, like astronauts, does not stand up to elementary criticism. We should not forget that even 159 years ago, the average life expectancy in Russia was about 40 years (mainly due to the colossal mortality of young children). Returning to psychoneurology, it is also worth remembering that in every small Russian village there was a “fool”, “relaxed” and a few simply “weak-minded”, and these were already grown-up characters. And how many of them were selected by "natural selection" during infancy and early childhood! So the stories about ancient blessed times, when everyone was smart and healthy, is just one of the variants of the legend about milk rivers with jelly banks, etc. (1 p.28)

So, how are things in reality?

The relevance of the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is determined by the high prevalence of this disease and the high degree of social maladaptation that occurs against its background. Domestic data on the prevalence of ADHD:

  • N.N. Zavadenko et al. (2005) show that out of the total number of examined Moscow schoolchildren, signs of ADHD are observed in 7.6% of children;
  • nine0011 Results of comparative epidemiological studies conducted by I.P. Bryazgunov and E.V. Kasatkina (2001, 2002) show that ADHD occurred in 18% of cases in Moscow, in 15% of cases in Shatura, and in 17% of cases in Vladimir.
  • The results of various epidemiological studies by Western scientists indicate a significant spread of data on the spread of the disease from 4 - 12%.

Such a wide range of values ​​is due to the use of different diagnostic criteria and the lack of uniformity in the study groups. nine0007

ADHD is 3-4 times more common in males. The relative predominance of ADHD among boys is explained by a number of reasons:

  • the influence of genetic factors;
  • higher vulnerability of male fetuses to various exposures;
  • a greater degree of specialization of the cerebral hemispheres in boys compared to girls, which leads to a smaller reserve of compensatory capabilities in case of damage to brain systems that provide higher nervous activity. nine0012
  • In addition, ADHD in boys is recorded more often due to their aggressive behavior, and inattention in girls is much less often accompanied by destructive behavior.

ADHD occurs in children of all socioeconomic groups. At the same time, a number of authors note that somewhat more often ADHD is recorded in low-income segments of the population. This fact can be explained by the fact that social factors often cause concomitant behavioral problems of a criminal nature. Also, ADHD is more common in regions with high population density. nine0007

Clinical manifestations of the disease are determined by three main symptom complexes: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

  • Carelessness. Speaking of ADHD, they most often mean increased distractibility and reduced concentration in such children.
  • Hyperactivity. Hyperactivity in children with ADHD is usually understood as increased motor (motor) activity. Parents complain "it seems that a motor has been connected to the child." Unlike simply energetic children, activity in children with ADHD is aimless. nine0012
  • Impulsivity. Impulsivity is understood as the impossibility of controlling one's impulses. Impulsive children cannot wait their turn when playing. In a learning situation, such children have an “impulsive work style”: they shout out answers in the lesson without fully answering them, interrupting other students or teachers. Due to impulsiveness, children often get into dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences. The propensity to take risks causes injuries and accidents. Impulsivity is often combined with aggressive and oppositional behavior. nine0012

A number of researchers believe that in the case of hyperdynamic syndrome we are dealing only with the consequences of birth trauma. Others believe that along with a possible injury, there are also violations of the biochemical balance in the central nervous system. A group of doctors from St. Petersburg suggests that the key to this common disease lies in a violation of the blood circulation of the brain.

Neuroanatomical changes in ADHD affect mainly the connections between the frontal cortex and the basal ganglia, with predominant localization in the right hemisphere. The study of brain metabolism in ADHD using tomography showed a decrease in metabolic activity in the frontal areas of the brain. It is assumed that the identified neuroanatomical and hemodynamic disorders can cause a decrease in the inhibitory control of motor activity, which is provided mainly by the frontal cortex and the caudate nucleus. nine0007

For parents and teachers, non-scientific terminology of specialists is much more important. It is important for them to understand what exactly happens to a child who has been diagnosed with hyperdynamic syndrome. Let's try to explain.

  1. For one reason or another, the brain of a child (usually a newborn) was slightly damaged, that is, part of the brain cells simply does not function.
  2. Nerve cells, as you know, do not recover, but immediately after an injury, other, healthy nerve cells begin to gradually take over the functions of the injured, that is, the recovery process begins immediately. nine0012
  3. At the same time, the process of normal age development of the child is going on. He learns to sit, walk, talk, etc. Both the recovery process and the process of normal age-related development require energy. Consequently, from the very beginning, the nervous system of our child with hyperdynamic syndrome works with a double load.
  4. In the event of stressful situations, prolonged tension (for example, preparation for an annual test or testing at a prestigious gymnasium), or after somatic diseases, a hyperdynamic child may experience a deterioration in the neurological condition, increased behavioral disturbances and learning problems. nine0012
  5. There are two main processes in the nervous system - excitation and inhibition. In hyperdynamic syndrome, structures that provide the process of inhibition are affected. That is why our child has difficulty with concentration, voluntary attention and regulation of his activity.
  6. With a successful development of events, sooner or later the functions of all the affected cells will be "taken apart" by other, healthy cells, the necessary connections will be restored (usually this happens by the age of 14-15). The process of "restoring the economy" is completed, and the child (adolescent) no longer differs from his healthy peers. In scientific language, this process is called convalescence (reverse development) of the syndrome. nine0012

Control Characteristic features of the behavior of different categories of children

(see at the end of the text)

Well, what to do with it?

  1. It is generally accepted that the treatment of ADHD should be comprehensive , that is, it should include both drug therapy, psychotherapeutic methods, and an individual approach at school.
  2. More than other children, they need positive reinforcement for their success. nine0012
  3. In a clear formulation of the requirements for them, phased (setting goals for the child and slowly approaching them).
  4. Daily routine (which disciplines and helps the child gain experience in organizing his time and space)
  5. Practically all the people surrounding a hyperdynamic child (parents, teachers, even classmates) are in the inevitable confidence that the child can completely get rid of all problems and shortcomings, simply by "pulling himself together", "getting together", etc. Unfortunately they are wrong. nine0012
  6. For some time, each hyperdynamic child will meet the expectations of the people around him, "exert his will", "take care of himself" and follow other equally valuable advice. Gradually, however, both he and others are convinced that all this does not bring any success. Moreover, the more a child is shamed and scolded, the worse things get for him. N.s. The child's HD, already working with overload, receives an additional load.

Further, the situation can develop in several ways:

  1. the child gives up and simply spit on the opinions of others. He goes to the street, where his peers admire his recklessness, desire to assert himself, activity.
  2. another child with poorer health begins to suffer from many and varied somatic diseases.
  3. the third child is the strongest and most courageous, despite all the difficulties, continues to fight for a place under the sun, trying to somehow adapt to the circumstances in which, as if on purpose, everything is against him. Sometimes he succeeds - he becomes the forward of the school football team, or the singer in the school ensemble, or the "great chemist", or the school humorist's notebook, or just a cool jester. All this, as a rule, is done against the will of the family and the teaching staff. But when the place is found, everyone breathes a sigh of relief - the manifestation of the syndrome sharply subsides. nine0012

When organizing educational activities, it is important to remember:

  1. the need to change activities
  2. Enable creative tasks
  3. children with ADHD often like to do things with their hands
  4. Working with the emotional state of the child

"Ambulance" when working with a hyperactive child

  1. Distract the child from his whims.
  2. Offer a choice (another activity that is currently possible). nine0012
  3. Ask an unexpected question.
  4. React in a way that is unexpected for the child (joking, repeating the child's action).
  5. Do not categorically forbid the child's action.
  6. Do not order, but ask (but do not fawn).
  7. Listen to what the child wants to say (otherwise he will not hear you).
  8. Automatically, with the same words, repeat your request many times (in a neutral tone). nine0012
  9. Leave alone in the room (if it is safe for his health).
  10. Do not insist that the child apologize at all costs.
  11. Do not read notations (the child still does not hear them).


  1. Murashova E.V. Children-"mattresses" and children-"catastrophes": Hypodynamic and hyperdynamic syndrome. - Yekaterinburg: U-Factoria, 2005
  2. Monina G.B., Lyutova-Roberts E.K., Chutko L.S. Hyperactive children: psychological and pedagogical assistance. Monograph. - St. Petersburg: Speech, 2007
  3. Lyutova E.K., Monina G.B. Cheat sheet for parents: Psychocorrective work with hyperactive, aggressive, anxious and autistic children. - St. Petersburg: Publishing house "Rech"; "TC Sphere", 2002.
  4. Monina G.B., Panasyuk E.V. Interaction training with a failing student. - St. Petersburg: Rech Publishing House, 2006

Listen to your child

Take time today
And listen to what the child is trying to tell you.
Listen to him today, no matter how busy you are,
Or he won't listen to you.
Find out about his troubles,
Find out about his needs,
Celebrate his little triumphs with him,
Praise him for his exploits,
Listen to his chatter,
Make him laugh,
Ask him what the matter is,
Ask what happens next ,
But tell him every night that you love him.
And even scolding the child,
Do not forget to support him.
And say, “It's all right!
Tomorrow everything will be fine”,
Find time today
And listen to what the child is trying to tell you.
Listen to him today, no matter how busy you are,
And then he will come back to listen to you.

(Cherie Fuller "Choose the key to teaching your child." Minsk, 1998)

Characteristic features of the behavior of different categories of children


  • overly talkative
  • works productively on operational cards
  • refuses to play collectively
  • nine0011 excessively mobile
  • has high demands on himself
  • does not understand the feelings and experiences of other people
  • feels rejected
  • loves rituals
  • has low self-esteem
  • often quarrels with adults
  • creates conflict situations
  • is behind in development
  • overly suspicious
  • spinning in place
  • makes stereotypical mechanical movements
  • controls his behavior
  • overly worried about any events
  • blame others
  • restless in movements
  • has somatic problems: abdominal pain, headaches
  • often argues with adults
  • fussy
  • seems detached, indifferent to the environment
  • likes to do puzzles, mosaics
  • losing control
  • refuses to comply with requests
  • impulsive
  • poorly oriented in space
  • often fights
  • has missing look
  • often anticipates "bad"
  • self-critical
  • unable to adequately evaluate his own behavior
  • has muscular tension - enjoys collecting
  • has poor coordination
  • afraid to enter into a new activity
  • often deliberately annoying adults
  • asks many questions but rarely waits for answers
  • shy hello
  • plays the same game for years
  • sleeps little and restlessly
  • refers to himself in the 2nd and 3rd person
  • pushes, breaks, crushes everything around
  • feels helpless
  • hits and drops objects
  • envious, vindictive
  • nine0011 avoids direct stares
  • behaves uniformly
  • irritable
  • easily distracted
  • often suffers from headaches, spasms
  • blames others for his mistakes
  • seeks to piss off mom, caregivers
  • avoids contact with adults
  • afraid of losing control
  • has good mechanical memory
  • thinks he's as good as the others
  • does not want to be separated from parents
  • has a low level of empathy
  • clumsy
  • avoids contact with children
  • often angry and refusing to do anything

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children | Zinov'eva

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