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Four Key Symptoms Of ADHD


The DSM-5 lists the criteria for ADHD.  However, in this article according to, I will provide you with the four key symptoms of ADHD.  They include: Impulsitivity, Overactivity, Inattention, and also Distractibility.


According to, the first symptom of ADHD is impulsitivity.  For example kids can be impatient.  They can have trouble waiting their turn in school in the lunch line.  They often interrupt people during conversations.  In addition, they  also might engage in risky behavior.  According to, “If your child has this symptom, her brain might not be effectively using the neurotransmitter chemical dopamine, which stimulates the portion of the brain responsible for maintaining focus and regulating behavior.”


In addition to impulsitivity, according to, the second symptom of ADHD is overactivity.  In this instance, kids seem hyper and can’t stop moving.  In addition, this may be present at home when they squirm in their seats and run around recklessly in gym class or at the playground or at recess.


In addition to impulsitivity and overactivity, according to, the third symptom of ADHD is inattention.  According to this article, inattention is the hallmark of ADHD.  Kids basically have difficulty focusing on anything.  They also have difficulty following directions.  These kids can be mistaken for being bored.


In addition to impulsitivity, overactivity, and inattention, according to, the fourth symptom of ADHD is distractibilty.  According to this article, distractibility, can be confused with inattention.  However, there is a difference.  According to, “With ADHD, anything kids see, hear or feel—such as an itch—could distract them. This can make them lose focus on the conversation they’re having or the task they’re supposed to be completing.”


Various criteria in the DSM-5 have been mentioned.  However, in this article, four specific criteria have been mentioned.  According to, they include impulsitivity, inattention, overactivity, and distractibility.  All of these symptoms can be present in school in children.  To be specific, when a child with ADHD is impulsive, they may blurt out answers in the classroom when the teacher is speaking.  When a child is not paying attention during class, they may not be listening to what the teacher is saying.  Overactive ADHD children may be overly hyper.  In addition to impulsive, inattentive, and overactive children, distracted children may not be able to focus in the classroom.  These are the four main symptoms of ADHD.


Four Key Symptoms Of ADHD

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2017). Four Key Symptoms Of ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Oct 2017
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