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Understanding ADHD: Signs and Symptoms


ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects both children and adults. It is characterised by a persistent pattern of inattention, and/or hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning and can have a significant impact on various aspects of life. In this blog post, we will delve into detail discussing what ADHD is and the main signs and symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD – Three Diagnostic Types Explained

ADHD primarily presents itself through three core symptoms as defined in the DSM-5 which interferes with a person’s daily functioning and development. Below we have provided a breakdown for what these types are and what they mean:

  • Inattention: Individuals with ADHD often struggle to sustain attention and focus on tasks or activities. They may become easily distracted, overlook details, have trouble holding attention to tasks, and may have difficulty organising tasks.
  • Hyperactivity: Hyperactivity is characterised by excessive and restless movement. People with ADHD may feel restless, fidgety, or frequently engage in behaviours like tapping their feet or hands, often interrupting, or talking excessively.
  • Impulsivity: Impulsivity refers to acting without thinking of the consequences. People with ADHD may have trouble waiting for their turn, interrupt conversations, or exhibit impulsive decision-making.

Note: Please note the above is not a comprehensive list of diagnostic criteria. We recommend speaking with your GP for further information surrounding diagnosis and treatment.

ADHD Symptoms

ADHD symptoms are categorised into three main presentations: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type or combined type (where an individual experiences symptoms from both hyperactive-impulsive type and inattentive type). Not all individuals with ADHD display all symptoms from each type, and the severity can vary from person to person.

  • Inattentive Symptoms:
    • Difficulty paying attention to details and making careless mistakes.
    • Struggling to sustain attention on tasks, activities, or conversations.
    • Frequently not listening when spoken to directly.
    • Having difficulty organising tasks and activities.
    • Avoiding or disliking tasks that require prolonged mental effort.
    • Frequently losing necessary items like keys, phone, or homework.
    • Being easily distracted by external stimuli.
    • Forgetfulness in daily activities.
  • Hyperactive-Impulsive Symptoms:
    • Fidgeting or restlessness.
    • Difficulty remaining seated in situations where sitting is expected.
    • Running or climbing excessively in inappropriate situations (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
    • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly.
    • Being “on the go” or acting as if “driven by a motor.”
    • Talking excessively.
    • Blurting out answers before the questions have been completed.
    • Difficulty waiting for one’s turn in conversations or activities.


Recognising and understanding the signs and symptoms of ADHD is crucial for early intervention and effective management of the condition. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of ADHD, seeking professional help can make a significant difference in managing the challenges associated with the disorder.For specialised support, Talking Minds offers services such as Specialist Mentoring and SpLD tuition and Neurodiversity masterclasses. These services can provide valuable support to individuals with ADHD and other neurodivergent conditions, helping an individual to build confidence in effectively managing their ADHD difficulties, to allow them to succeed in their goals and lives.

Contact us to book your free consultation to see how we can help you.

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