ADHD and ADHD(Inattentive) – previously known as ADD

Primary Characteristics


Difficulty remaining still or staying seated
Often wriggle arms and legs and fidget in wormy-squirmy fashion
Often fiddle with objects
Constantly on the go as if driven by a motor
At home, run and climb all over the place
Frequently move excessively, even during sleep
May have difficulty being quiet
(Clothes and shoes tend to wear out much faster than normal)


May have poor concentration/attention or difficulty keeping his/her mind on work
Don’t seem to listen
May have difficulty starting and/or finishing tasks
Make careless mistakes
May give up easily or be easily bored


Tends to switch back and forth between tasks
Frequently learn irrelevant material and not what they were expected to learn


Often act quickly without thinking e.g. run into street without checking for cars
Seems to have defective hindsight (don’t learn from experience)
Tend to be physically accident-prone
Difficulty following rules or waiting their turn
May interrupt others or talk too much


May be easily excited
Typically have low frustration tolerance (‘short fuses’)
Wants to have playmates but are often upset or ‘set off’ by them
Extremely emotional


Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
Poor time management
May have poor planning and/or prioritizing skills
May complete projects at the last minute
Often mislay or lose supplies, books, homework, day planners, clothes and ever treasures possessions.

Secondary Characteristics

Peer Relationship Problems

Difficulty with friendships, poor social skills and limited social connections
May appear to be unaccepted by the group
Often not sensitive to needs of others
Often miss cues, misread social situations
Tend to take a bossy ‘play-it-my-way-or-not-at-all’ approach
Difficulty keeping friends

Learning Problems

Academic struggles (reading, spelling and/or maths).
May have difficulty learning and/or remembering concepts
May need extra explanations or help

Familial Problems

May feel that parents do not love or notice him/her
May feel unjustly criticized and/or punished at home
Tend to catalyze family conflict
Parents may disagree about how to handle certain situations and end up arguing or taking different directions

Low Self-Concept

Often lacks in confidence in learning abilities
Often lacks confidence in social relationships

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