Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder?

Symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) fall into three categories:  

Inattention

  • short attention span for their age
  • frequent careless mistakes
  • trouble listening or following instructions
  • trouble organizing activities
  • losing or forgetting things repeatedly and often
  • easily distracted
  • forgetfulness and poor study skills for their age

Impulsivity

  • habit of interrupting others
  • difficulty waiting for their turn in school and with friends
  • tendency to blurt out answers instead of waiting to be called on
  • inclination to risky behaviors, often without thinking first

Hyperactivity

  • constant need to run or climb, often with no apparent destination
  • fidgeting or squirming when forced to sit still
  • excessive talking
  • difficulty engaging in quiet activities
  • shifting from one task to another without finishing any of them

What causes ADHD?

While researchers have not been able to identify a single cause, many studies indicate that ADHD runs in families. Other possible risk factors under investigation include:

Despite what some people think, there is no evidence that eating too much sugar, consuming certain food additives, watching too much TV or growing up in a chaotic home environment cause ADHD.