ADHD Symptoms in Kids, Teens, and Adults

ADHD symptoms may impact teens differently than kids

For some teens, ADHD may go away as they get older. For others, it may not.

According to studies on kids with ADHD, nearly ½ of children with ADHD continued to experience ADHD symptoms into adulthood.

  • While ADHD may not go away as your teen gets older, it can start to look different. For example, certain ADHD symptoms may become more subtle and less noticeable, and obvious signs of hyperactivity may be less common.

What are some ways ADHD symptoms can look different in kids, teens, and adults? Below are some examples. Be sure to review the full list of ADHD symptoms and talk to the doctor. Keep in mind, this information is not intended to replace a formal diagnosis. If you are concerned that your teen may have ADHD, talk to your teen’s doctor. Only a doctor or other trained health care professional can diagnose ADHD.

Examples of how ADHD symptoms may appear in kids, teens, and adults

See full list of ADHD symptoms
ADHD Symptom Children
with ADHD
Teens
with ADHD
Adults
with ADHD
Inattention Children may often make careless mistakes in schoolwork, have difficulty remaining focused in class, and do not seem to listen when spoken to directly. Teens may often avoid schoolwork and homework, and be easily distracted by many things including unrelated thoughts. Adults may often forget to keep appointments, pay bills, or return calls and avoid completing forms or reviewing paperwork.
Hyperactivity & Impulsivity Children may often fidget or squirm, have trouble staying seated, have difficulty playing or working quietly, or may blurt out answers in school. Teens may often unable to engage in quiet activities, have difficulty waiting their turn, use other people’s things without asking, and intrude or take over what others are doing. Adults may feel restless, be uncomfortable being still, and frequently interrupt conversations or complete people’s sentences.

Helpful information to bring to your teen’s appointment

Complete an ADHD Symptom Checklist for your teen.   

Going to see your teen’s doctor?

Get an ADHD Doctor Discussion Guide.