ADHD Symptoms in Kids, Teens, and Adults

ADHD symptoms may impact teens differently than kids

As a child with ADHD matures, certain ADHD symptoms may become more subtle and less noticeable, and signs of overt hyperactivity may be less common. By late childhood and early adolescence, hyperactive symptoms of ADHD may be less common.

Below are some examples of ADHD symptoms.

Please note: This is not a diagnostic tool. Only a trained health care professional can accurately diagnose and manage ADHD. Be sure to review the full list of ADHD symptoms and talk to your teen's doctor.

ADHD symptoms in kids, teens, and adults

ADHD Symptom Children with ADHD Teens with ADHD Adults with ADHD
Inattention May be easily distracted, have difficulty following instructions or completing schoolwork, and have trouble listening. Teens may lose things such as homework and schoolwork, make careless mistakes and fail to complete tasks. Adults may put things off until the last minute, fail to follow through on commitments, have difficulty sustaining attention to reading or paperwork.
Hyperactivity Children may climb or run excessively, have trouble staying seated, have difficulty playing or working quietly. Teens may have difficulty engaging in quiet, sedentary activities, fidget with hands or feet and feel restless. Adults may feel restless and impatient, like they're always "on the go," always need to be busy after work or on vacation.
Impulsivity Children may find it hard to wait their turn when playing with friends, or may blurt out answers in school. Teens may be impatient, frequently interrupt or intrude on others to the point of causing difficulties in social and academic settings. Adults may interrupt others in class or at work, have difficulty waiting their turn and blurt out answers before questions have been completed.

How do I talk with my teen's doctor about ADHD? Start with the ADHD Doctor Discussion Guide.

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What resources are available to parents of teens with ADHD?

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