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ADHD Checklist for Parents

Updated on March 12, 2011

For parents that suspect their child may have an attention deficit disorder, there are a number of online screening tools, assessments, and checklists that can help them decide when it might be time to see a doctor. ADHD checklists for parents gauge a child’s behavior at home, certain emotional symptoms, and functional traits that are often attributed to ADHD or ADD. However, these same symptoms are often found in a number of physical conditions as well, and other mental illnesses and developmental disorders are often difficult to differentiate.

Because of this, an ADHD checklist should not be the last stop for parents. Doctors, teachers, and behavioral health specialists will be able to make a more accurate diagnosis based on physical symptoms, sensory problems, learning difficulties, and other test results. A checklist of ADHD symptoms is often the first step in getting treatment for a child with an attention deficit disorder.

It is natural for a child to be hyperactive at times and have a lot of energy. Not every child has ADHD. Also, not every child who exhibits the symptoms of ADHD may necessarily have the disorder. Vision problems, hearing problems, anemia, epilepsy, and even thyroid problems can all create the same sets of symptoms and cause problems with behavior. However, in all of these cases, as well as with ADHD, there are treatments that can help.

Behavioral symptoms of ADHD in children include a disregard for rules or directions, impulsive actions and decision-making skills, irresponsible behavior or risk-taking, inability to understand consequences. Emotionally, children with attention deficit disorders may appear moody, get frustrated easily, or overreact to a number of situations. Girls are also more likely than boys to be overly dramatic at times, whereas boys are more prone to react with violence. Boys with ADHD may hit themselves or others, kick, or throw objects.

In terms of functional difficulties, people with ADHD have a great deal of difficulty in completing tasks, often forget what is said to them, or have trouble following verbal instructions. A child with this kind of disorder may feel overwhelmed by simple tasks or chores. Children with ADHD are easily confused and forgetful. Their level of confusion often leads to a tremendous amount of frustration regarding school activities or tasks at home.

Often, the severity of symptoms in a person with ADHD will wax and wane over time. Even in children, good days and bad days are noticeable, according to the severity of symptoms and the child’s frustration level on any given day.


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