ADHD symptoms sometimes confuse parents, as they are often given ADHD checklists or questionnaires, which list symptoms such as:
fails to give close attention to details
makes careless mistakes
doesn't follow instructions
talks too much
moves around too much or is always on the go
can't wait his turn
Can these be ADHD symptoms?
Sure, but they can also be symptoms of a normal preschooler or an immature five year old, so it is important to consider the symptoms in the context of the child you are thinking about, especially his age and developmental level.
Most importantly, remember that for a child to have ADHD, the symptoms should be causing an impairment for your child. That means that the ADHD symptoms should be causing him to have some trouble learning, making and keeping friends, participating in after-school activities (including sports) or even functioning at home. For example, the ADHD symptoms might lead to a child having trouble with his siblings or might lead him to getting in trouble a lot at home.
It can be a little easier to understand ADHD symptoms if you think about them as being grouped into three major categories, including children who:
have trouble paying attention (inattention) and get easily distracted
are hyperactive or "on the go" (hyperactivity)
are impulsive or doing things without really thinking about them (impulsivity)
Some children just have one type of ADHD symptom; for example, children with ADHD, Inattentive Type simply have trouble paying attention and get distracted, but they aren't hyperactive or impulsive. Other children can just have ADHD, Hyperactive - Impulsive Type, while some have ADHD, Combined Type if the child has all of the major ADHD symptoms.
Keep in mind that some of the other criteria for a diagnosis for ADHD include that the symptoms have been present for at least six months, they began before the child was 7 years old and they are causing an impairment in more than one setting, for example both at home and at school.
If your child only has problems at school or only in one subject, then you might look to see if he could have a learning disorder, such as dyscalculia or dysgraphia, another learning disability or dyslexia. Looking for another learning problem can also be a good idea if your child, already being treated for ADHD, simply isn't doing well in school -- since many children have both ADHD and a learning disability or dyslexia.
Read more at http://pediatrics.about.com/od/adhd/a/adhd_symptoms.htm