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Author: Dr Pablo JeczmienConsultant Psychiatrist

All children can be fidgety, impulsive and have short attention spans at time – it is perfectly normal.

For children with ADHD however these behaviours are more pronounced, occur frequently and in a variety of settings.

There are three groups of behaviours associated with ADHD / ADD:


  • Constantly on the go
  • Fidgets a lot - finger drumming and tapping are common
  • Leaves their seat when they are expected to sit still
  • Disruptive in class
  • Struggles to do activities quietly, will often make a lot of noise when playing a game

  • Impulsivity:

    • Blurts out answers without waiting for them to be asked fully
    • May not raise their hand in class but calls out answers
    • Struggles to wait their turn
    • Whilst waiting in line they may poke or annoy other children
    • Interrupts other children’s games and conversations


    • Makes careless mistakes
    • Struggles to complete tasks
    • Does not listen when told instructions and needs them repeating
    • Struggles to complete jobs at home or schoolwork
    • Difficulties organising tasks
    • Dislikes activities requiring a sustained mental effort
    • Becomes easily distracted by irrelevant information
    • Often loses things

    Other symptoms common in children with ADHD or ADD:

    • Poor handwriting
    • Social clumsiness
    • Poor coordination
    • Mood swings
    • Learning disabilities
    • Difficulties sleeping such as taking a long time to fall asleep
    • Bed wetting is common in children with ADHD

    Children can be classified into three types of ADHD:

    1. Predominantly inattentive (ADD) ADHD
    Girls with ADHD are more likely to have this type. Children with inattentive ADHD seem to be sitting quietly, but are often not listening or paying attention. Children with Inattentive ADHD can often go undiagnosed as their behaviour is not as obviously disruptive.

    2. Predominantly hyperactive – impulsive

    3. Combined

    Many of the behaviours described above are experienced by all children from time to time, which can make it hard to know if your child has ADHD. As a general rule, children with ADHD often do not act like other children their age, experience the above behaviours in a variety of settings and whilst doing a variety of activities.

    Read about the 10 signs your child might have ADHD from Dr Sabina Dosani

    If you suspect that your child might have ADHD, or perhaps are just not sure, we can help.

    Our clinical advisors can offer you a free telephone consultation, where they will be able to advise on the best options for your family. Clinical Partners have a team of child and adolescent psychiatrists who are able to offer private assessments for ADHD, often within a few days.

    To speak to someone today about how we can help you please call 020 3761 7026 or contact us to request a call back.

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