ADHD: Symptoms

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The primary symptoms of ADHD are:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Distractibility
  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns

Most children display these behaviors at least sometimes. But for a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms must be present for at least six months and must occur in at least two settings (e.g., home and school).

By comparison, sleep deprivation in children may result in:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Difficulty waking up in the morning

There is a clear relationship between symptoms of ADHD and consequences of sleep deprivation. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, carefully record when and under what circumstances they occur and bring this information to your child's pediatrician. Also, use a sleep diary to keep a record of your child's sleep. His or her pediatrician will need this information for a medical evaluation.

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