Signs of ADHD and ADD in Kids

This is a really controversial subject. One end of the spectrum challenges that schools and teachers are way too quick to advise parents to seek diagnosis for attention deficit disorder as evidenced by the child's inability to pay attention in class, or ADHD, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity as evidenced by the child's inability to sit still. This side insists that it is the education system's way of keeping over populated classrooms under control. Even more controversial is the reach that it is the government's way of dumbing down and medicating the next generation. Parenting a child with ADHD definitely has some challenges.

Now adults are lining up for the medication as well, saying that they suffer from undiagnosed ADHD from when they were children or have the adult onset of the disorder. Either way, the makers of Ritalin (the most widely prescribed medication to treat the disorder) are making a bundle.

Here are the signs and symptoms of ADHD for you to look at and think about, but I suggest that you read all the different kinds of research on the subject as well as articles about parenting ADHD kids and make an informed opinion. These symptoms are straight out of the DSMIV; six or more symptoms have to be present for at least six months prior to diagnosis:


  1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
  3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
  5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
  6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
  7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  8. Is often easily distracted.
  9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.


  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  • Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
  • Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
  • Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
  • Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".
  • Often talks excessively.

A word of caution, if you read the DSMIV long enough, you'll find yourself diagnosing you and everyone you know with some disorder, if you think you are parenting a child with ADHD, see someone sensitive on the subject, not just any doctor will do. Locate a physican who also understands natural treatments as well as the long term effects of prescriptions and medicating symptoms.


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