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Developmental Stages of ADHD

Children do not grow out of ADHD. Between 60% and 80% of children with ADHD will still have symptoms when they are teens or adults.

However, ADHD looks different at different ages. Symptoms of hyperactivity may become less obvious as your child grows older:

  • During early childhood, hyperactive and impulsive symptoms are more obvious. Children may move before thinking or seem "driven by a motor."
  • Teens and adults may look calmer, but feel restless inside. They may talk in sudden bursts. They continue to have problems with organization of materials, time, and thinking.

A child who was originally diagnosed with the Combined subtype of ADHD may change to the Predominantly Inattentive subtype as a teenager.

Symptoms of inattention usually last from childhood to adulthood. These symptoms include forgetfulness, disorganization, and problems concentrating.

In this section, you can read about ADHD in babies, preschool and kindergarten children, school-age children, and teenagers. Click the links on the left to learn more.

Peter Chaban, MA, MEd

Rosemary Tannock, PhD