ADHD Symptom Checklist: Navigating ADHD with Kids
Family - July 25, 2022

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ADHD is something I never thought I’d write about until my son was diagnosed. Then I realized that I also had it. ADHD is sometimes joked about and is a common term that is used regulary with children. However, it is real and it can make one’s life unmanagble. If your wondering what the ADHD symptom checklist is, keep reading.

ADHD for ADHD Symptom Checklist

My younger son had ADHD. It was obvious to me. He could not sit still, bounced around, and talked non stop. This continued until it was unmanageable at school and we took action.

My older son had behavioral issues but I didn’t think he had ADHD. The school mentioned it and I recoiled. I just didn’t think he had it.

When I Decided to Get Help

I continued to try and help him but his behavior got worse. He became combative and angry. He had meltdowns over math and couldn’t manage his emotions. By the end of the school year, I realized that my son could not focus and was acting out because of it. I got him help and found some helpful tools to help his sensory issues and workbooks.

Now I am an ADHD mom to two kids and navigating through the craziness.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder that is characterized by problems with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Symptoms of ADHD can include difficulty paying attention, trouble staying focused on the task, fidgeting or squirming in the seat, talking excessively, blurting out answers before questions have been completed, interrupting or intruding on others, and difficulty waiting a turn.

While ADHD can occur in people of all ages, it is most commonly diagnosed in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids diagnosed with ADHD continues to increase.

Difference between ADHD and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

While ADHD and ADD are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. ADHD is a condition that includes problems with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, while ADD is a condition that is characterized by problems with inattention only.

The symptoms of ADHD can range from mild to severe, and they can vary depending on the individual. Some people with ADHD may only have problems with one symptom, while others may have several.

ADHD Diagnosis

There is no one ADHD symptom test to diagnose ADHD. It is often diagnosed based on a combination of factors. These can include a detailed medical history, observations by parents, teachers, or other adults, and standardized behavior rating scales. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional is the best way to determine if someone has ADHD.

What is the QB Test?

The QB Test, or Quotient ADHD Battery, is a computerized test that is sometimes used to help diagnose ADHD. It consists of 12 subtests that measure different areas related to ADHD, such as attention span, reaction time, and impulsiveness.

While the QB Test can help diagnose ADHD, it is important to remember that it is not the only factor that should be considered. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional is the best way to determine if someone has ADHD.

Treatment for ADHD

There is no single “cure” for ADHD, but there are many effective treatments available. These can include medication, behavioral therapy, and/or educational interventions. The most important thing is to work with a team of professionals who can help develop an individualized treatment plan that meets the specific needs of the person with ADHD.

Medication for ADHD

FDA has approved two types of medications—stimulants and non-stimulants—to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. These improve functioning in children as young as age 6.

Living with ADHD

While ADHD can present challenges in many areas of life, it is important to remember that it is a disorder that can be effectively managed with proper treatment. There are many resources available to help people with ADHD and their families learn how to live with and manage the condition.

Diagnostic Criteria for ADHD; an ADHD Symptoms Checklist

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. The DSM-5 lists the following criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD:

A. Must have at least six of the following nine symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five symptoms for adolescents 17 years and older and adults; symptoms must have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive to functioning:

1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.

2. Often has trouble sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.

3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand).

5. Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.

6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).

7. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).

8. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.

9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

B. Must have at least six of the following nine symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five symptoms for adolescents 17 years and older and adults; symptoms must have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive to functioning:

1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.

3. Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations where it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).

4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.

5. Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”.

6. Often talks excessively.

7. Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.

8. Often has difficulty waiting his/her turn.

9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

C. Some symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 12 years.

D. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school and at home).

E. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.

F. The symptoms do not happen exclusively during schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., anxiety disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, Asperger’s Disorder).

Specifiers (types of ADHD)

Three types of specifiers can be used to further describe the symptoms of ADHD:

Inattentive Presentation (inattentive type of ADHD)

With predominantly inattentive presentation: This specifier is used when an individual displays more symptoms of inattention than hyperactivity-impulsivity.

Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation (Hyperactive-Impulsivetype of ADHD)

With predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation: This specifier is used when an individual displays more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity than inattention.

Combined Presentation

With combined presentation: This specifier is used when an individual displays an equal number of symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.

What is the ADHD-sc4 checklist?

The ADHD-sc4 checklist is a list of symptoms that are often seen in people with ADHD. The checklist can help to identify whether someone may have ADHD and how severe their symptoms are.

Symptoms of inattention:

1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.

2. Often has trouble sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.

3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand).

5. Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.

6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework).

7. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).

8. Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.

9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

Symptoms of hyperactivity:

1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.

2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.

3. Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations where it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness).

4. Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.

5. Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”.

6. Often talks excessively.

Symptoms of impulsivity:

1. Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.

2. Often has difficulty waiting his/her turn.

3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

Treatment

There is no “cure” for ADHD, but there are many effective treatments. The most effective approach to treatment usually combines medication and behavioral therapy. Medication can help reduce symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Behavioral therapy can teach children and adults with ADHD skills to improve functioning.

Sleep Disorders and ADHD

People with ADHD often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They may also have trouble waking up in the morning. This can lead to fatigue during the day and further impair attention and focus.

Is Obsessive-Compulsive disorder part of ADHD?

ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have similar symptoms, and their effects on school and job functioning are comparable. Although this isn’t typical, it’s conceivable for persons to have both ADHD and OCD at the same time.

Externalizing, on the other hand, is a characteristic feature of ADHD. It has an impact on how individuals interact with their surroundings. Internalizing in nature, on the other hand, implies that people with OCD react to worry by looking within.

Anxiety and ADHD

Many people with ADHD also experience anxiety. Anxiety can make it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, and take appropriate actions in response to stimuli. It can also lead to avoidance of activities that trigger anxiety.

Depression and ADHD

Depression is another common comorbid condition in people with ADHD. Sleep difficulties, including difficulties in starting sleep (delayed onset sleep or bedtime resistance) and maintaining sleep (frequent nocturnal awakenings or restlessness), are reported by up to 50 percent of parents of children with ADHD.

This is just a summary to help navigate ADHD. ADHD symptoms in children checklist can definitely help narrow it down. As a parent of boys with ADHD, I want to know everything and a symptom checklist can help narrow it down.

If you or your child are experiencing several of these symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified mental health professional can rule out other conditions and confirm a diagnosis of ADHD.

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