Inattentive ADHD children can appear spacey and apathetic, while adults may present with symptoms that appear more like a mood disorder or anxiety. Those with the hyperactive type of ADHD may appear to bounce off the walls and have lots of energy. But, this description only fits a small percentage of ADHD sufferers. 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the preferred medical term for the biologically-based neurological condition once known as ADD. The symptoms will fall into one of three quantifying categories:

  • Primarily Inattentive- disorganization, lack of focus, forgetfulness
  • Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive- Hyper, constantly on the move
  • Combined
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Symptoms of ADHD can differ from person to person and age group.

It’s normal for children to occasionally forget things, daydream in class, act without thinking, or get fidgety when things are “boring”. But, when those signs are coupled with inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, that may be a sign the child is suffering from ADHD.

Some children will be constantly on the move, never listen, never follow instructions, blurt out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times and be labeled a troublemaker or criticized for being lazy and undisciplined. However, they may have ADHD.

ADHD is typically considered a “child’s condition” and, as such, the diagnostic tools often focus mostly on children since ADHD treatment in adults is a relatively new science.

But, ADHD affects approximately 10.5 million adults in the US, and it’s a real medical condition that can affect more than just the daily life in the workplace.

The primary difference between ADHD in children and in adults is how the symptoms manifest themselves.

ADHD symptoms in children include:

  • Daydreaming in class
  • Forgetfulness
  • Blurting out inappropriate comments
  • Labeled as a trouble maker
  • Constantly on the move
  • Fidgety when things are "boring"
  • Appear "lazy"  and "undisciplined"
  • Jumping from game to game

Signs of ADHD will typically appear before age seven and appear across different situations, such as home, school and play.

ADHD symptoms in adults may include:

  • Jumping from job to job
  • Making careless mistakes again and again, like forgetting to shut off lights
  • Mundane daily tasks are started but rarely finished due to lack of focus
  • Constantly in motion, feet tapping, fingers fidgeting, walking around their desk
  • Inability to participate in leisurely activities
  • Losing small items, such as phone, wallet, or keys
  • Labeled as a "motor mouth"

Adults with ADHD may find it hard to perform routine tasks like going to the grocery store or the post office due to lines.