What Are the Symptoms of ADHD (cont.)
School-age children display similar behavior but with less frequency. They are unable to remain seated, squirm a lot, fidget, or talk excessively.
In adolescents and adults, hyperactivity may manifest itself as feelings of restlessness and difficulty engaging in quiet sedentary activities.
Impulsivity symptoms include:
Impulsivity may lead to accidents such as knocking over objects or banging into people. Children with ADHD may also engage in potentially dangerous activities without considering the consequences. For instance, they may climb to precarious positions.
Many of these symptoms occur from time to time in normal youngsters. However, in children with ADHD they occur frequently -- at home and at school or when visiting with friends. They also interfere with the child's ability to function normally.
ADHD is diagnosed after children consistently display some or all of the above behaviors in at least two settings, such as at home and in school, for at least six months.
Long-Term Prognosis With ADHD
Some children with ADHD -- approximately 20% to 30% -- develop learning problems that may not improve with ADHD treatment. Hyperactive behavior can be associated with the development of other disruptive disorders, particularly conduct and oppositional-defiant disorder. Why this association exists is not known.
A great many children with ADHD ultimately adjust. Some, though, especially those with an associated conduct or oppositional-defiant disorder, are more likely to drop out of school. These individuals fare more poorly in their later careers than individuals who did not have ADHD do.
Inattention tends to persist through childhood and adolescence and on into adulthood. The symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to diminish with age.
There are several warning signs for ADHD that seem to get worse when demands at school or home increase. They include:
WebMD Medical Reference
Last Editorial Review: 2/21/2011