What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by symptoms such as diminished sustained attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and emotional difficulties. Children with ADHD may experience delays in language and motor skills and are at risk for academic difficulties, substance abuse, and behavioral disorders.


  1. Combined presentation
  2. Predominantly inattentive presentation
  3. Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation

Signs & Symptoms


  • Miss details
  • Make careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Have difficulty staying focused during play
  • Seem not to listen when spoken to directly
  • Can’t follow through on instructions or finish schoolwork
  • May start tasks but get easily sidetracked
  • Disorganized
  • Messy rooms
  • Can’t keep belongings in place
  • Avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as homework, reading etc.
  • Always loosing things such as school supplies, pencils, books etc.
  • Be easily distracted by unrelated stimuli.
  • Be forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands etc.


  • Fidget and squirm while seated
  • Always in motion or on the go
  • Act as if driven by a motor
  • Leave their seats in the classroom
  • Run, dash around, or climb at inappropriate times
  • Feel restless
  • Talk excessively
  • Can’t play quietly
  • Answer questions before fully asked
  • Finish other people’s sentences
  • Interrupt others
  • Speak without waiting for a turn in a conversation
  • Can’t wait their turn during play

What to do if you think your child may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? (ADHD)

Visit your primary care physician if you suspect your child may have this disorder; they will be assessed and referred to the Child Psychiatrist if necessary.


  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. DSM 5 TR 2022
  2. Kaplan and Saddocks. Synopsis of Psychiatry. 12th edition. 2022
  3. Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). About ADHD – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment – CHADD. https://chadd.org/about-adhd/overview/

Prepared by:

Dr. Jenese October
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Psychiatry Department. GPHC