• Everybody can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior once in a while.For some people, however, the problems are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their life: home, academic, social and work.

    These problems are known as Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity.

    There are several symptoms to be aware of and seek further assistance with if you notice several of these symptoms:


    • Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities
    • Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
    • Not seem to listen when spoken to directly
    • Not follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked
    • Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as what to do in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, having messy work and poor time management, and failing to meet deadlines
    • Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms or reviewing lengthy papers
    • Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones
    • Be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
    • Be forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments


    • Fidget and squirm in their seats
    • Leave their seats in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom
    • Run or dash around or climb in situations where it is inappropriate or, in teens and adults, often feel restless
    • Be unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly
    • Be constantly in motion or “on the go,” or act as if “driven by a motor”
    • Talk nonstop
    • Blurt out an answer before a question has been completed, finish other people’s sentences, or speak without waiting for a turn in conversation
    • Have trouble waiting his or her turn
    • Interrupt or intrude on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities


    For more information and resources:
    National Institute of Health- ADHD
    Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

    Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Publishing: 2013.