Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder affecting over 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This rather common, albeit complex mental disorder, can adversely affect a child's schooling as well as interpersonal relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary from case to case and are difficult to recognize. Here we will outline seven common signs which may indicate ADHD.

Before we begin, it is imperative to note that many of the symptoms of ADHD are within the range of normal experience for children. Almost all children are fidgety at some point, become distracted easily, and have trouble paying attention at times. The difference to note here is that a child with ADHD has these symptoms to such an extent that they can become a distraction at home or in the classroom. In order to be diagnosed, symptoms have to be present for at least six months and must be inappropriate for a child's developmental level. Additionally, with each symptom type, there are a number of criteria that a child's behavior will need to meet in order to be diagnosed.

1: "Me" Mentality
A common sign of ADHD is a child who is very "Me" focused. Children with ADHD tend to have a hard time focusing on the needs of others in social situations. They may have difficulty waiting their turn when playing games. They may also consistently speak out of turn in classroom settings, blurting out answers before questions are finished or interrupting others who are speaking.

2: Emotional Outbursts
A child with ADHD may also have difficulty controlling their emotions. They may have outbursts of manic excitement or moments of extreme rage at inappropriate times. Younger children may be prone to temper tantrums. It is worth noting they tend to have difficulty controlling both positive and negative emotions.

3: Wiggly Worm
Children affected by ADHD often have great difficulty keeping still. This may express itself in the form of squirming in their seats, tapping their toes or hands, fidgeting, climbing at inappropriate times, or running around when asked to sit.

4: Unfinished Business
Those with ADHD also tend to leave many unfinished tasks. A child with ADHD may show interest in multiple tasks, but may have difficulty completing any of them. An example of this would be a half finished art project next to an unfinished homework assignment, next to a half completed chore. They have problems seeing tasks through to their completion.

5: Lack of Focus
A general lack of focus is also noted in individuals with ADHD. A child with ADHD may ignore a speaker, even when the speaker is talking directly to the child. They may feign paying attention, saying they heard what was said while retaining none of it, and will not be able to repeat what was said. This also goes hand in hand with the incomplete tasks. Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention to things they are "required" to do such as classwork or homework.

6: Day Dreamers
Certain children's ADHD shows up in much more quiet ways that generally understood. We generally think of those with ADHD as loud and interruptive, but that is not always the case. Another sign of ADHD is being much quieter and noticeably less involved than the other children. A child with ADHD may pay no attention to what is happening around them, stare into space and daydream.

7: Being Careless
Children with ADHD tend to have more difficulty following a plan or instructions, which often leads to careless mistakes. Their work may seem rushed, and may appear as if several steps were ignored in the process. It is not that children with ADHD have a lesser intelligence than those unaffected by the disorder. Rather it is that they have a difficulty in following plans or instructions, which can lead to these careless mistakes.

Again, it is important to recognize that all children will display these behaviors from time to time. The difference is that those who may have ADHD display these behaviors on a consistent basis for a long period of time, and that these behaviors may have a drastic negative impact on their social life or schooling environment. If you think your child may have ADHD based on these seven signs, it may be time to get informed about the next step. Talk with your doctor or health care practitioner and see if an evaluation is right for you.

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Author's Bio: 

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for many prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own life conditions and daily circumstances.