ADHD: Signs and symptoms

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Discover the main signs and symptoms of ADHD in school-aged children and teens.

Key points

  • The main symptoms of ADHD are difficulty controlling attention, behaviour and impulses. This can appear as inattention, over-focusing, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  • Symptoms appear before the age of 12. They usually become more obvious from age seven to nine.
  • ADHD is diagnosed when a child’s symptoms are excessive, last for a number of months and occur in two or more settings.
  • An ADHD diagnosis is made by a qualified health-care professional, based on a thorough clinical history, a physical examination and descriptions of symptoms by the parent and teacher.
Last updated: February 20th 2024