Medical Q&As

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - symptoms?

Can ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) be diagnosed in a child aged 12 months and what are the symptoms?

Children with ADHD usually have difficulty functioning at home, at school and with their peers. Although there may be some indicators of the condition at an early age most children are not diagnosed until they attend school. The symptoms are divided into two groups: symptoms of inattention and symptoms of hyperactivity. The symptoms of inattention may include the following: difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activity; does not seem to listen when spoken to directly; avoids or is reluctant to engage in tasks or activities that require sustained mental effort; does not follow through on instructions; difficulty with organising tasks or activities; easily distracted; often forgetful in daily activities and loses things that are necessary for daily tasks or activities. The symptoms of hyperactivity may include the following: fidgeting; leaves seat in the classroom or in other situations where remaining seated is expected; running about or climbing excessively in situations where it is inappropriate; difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly; talks excessively; always on the go; interrupts or intrudes on others; cannot wait in turn and blurting out answers before the question has been completed. In order to make the diagnosis the symptoms must have been present for at least six months and the child must have multiple symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.