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Characteristics of ADD - In Children & Adults

Updated on March 27, 2012
My brain is like a spinning top, it never stops, not even when i am asleep, my dreams never ending dropping me into a psychedelic haze.
My brain is like a spinning top, it never stops, not even when i am asleep, my dreams never ending dropping me into a psychedelic haze. | Source

It's normal for children to forget their homework, misplace a book, daydream, not stay still, react to quickly and not always agree with their friends. For some children these only happen once in awhile. However, children who have either ADD or ADHD deal with these issues and more on daily basis. This can be problematic at home, at school and with your friends.

The Characteristic Of ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder & ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Inattention seems to be the first sign that is noticed for those children who have ADD. You may think your child is ignoring but they are not. They are daydreaming, closing off their current surroundings. Some have been considered ignorant and rude. For school aged children they have difficulty paying attention and concentrating on school work. Trying to do homework is an every day struggle for the parents. Being easily distracted compounds the issue.

Impulsivity they act before thinking, come out with inappropriate comments, have trouble waiting for their turn in a game, will call out in class, jump from one thing to another, it's hard for them to organize work and they may require more supervision than other children especially in school.

Hyperactivity very active, runs, climbs, has difficulty staying still, moves around quite a bit while sleeping. always seems to be on the go, is fidgety, making other wish they had an off switch.

The first two characteristic effect those with ADD & ADHD. The third effects those with ADHD. The majority of those diagnosed with ADD are girls. However their have been girls diagnosed with ADHD. Though the boys have ADHD.

The onset of these disorders happens before they are 7 years old. If they have display these for more than six month, that is normally the diagnosis. Sometime medication is required though not in all cases. These children are labeled problem children because the teacher's don't have guidelines or resources to handle them. The way they learn is different from other students. Even the study habits differ. Parents and Teachers need to have the diagnoses documented so they can request a meeting with the Special Education Department. Then a plan of action can be made, suggestions discussed to help them both at school and home. On the upside these words reflect the brighter aspects of their personalities.

Creative / Artistic / Imaginative minds, there ability to think of ten things at once attributes to their ability to be a problem solver. They will see what others can't because of their ability to see differently.

Flexibility, are more open to other ideas. By not focusing on one idea they adapt easily to changes. This occurs because they have the ability to think of all of ideas at once.

Spontaneous being able to pick up and go, changing plans at a moments notice, will suddenly suggest a road trip to the beach, they tend to be the life of the party.

Energy / Drive / Passion they strive to succeed, a hard worker, focus on what excites them and love hands on activities.

Adults with ADD / ADHD had the same characteristics when they were children. They tend to carry some of them into adulthood. As adults due to the responsibility face they sometimes get overwhelmed. They are usually running late, disorganized, distracted, forgetful and get frazzled. As a child is was school and home that was effected. As an adult it goes anywhere from home, work, different relationships and financially inept. Many mistake ADD as a lack of willpower. ADD is a chemical problem within the management, organized part of the brain. They've also discovered that those who have ADD or ADHD usually have other mental health issues. They overlap each other.

Adult Symptoms

Zoning Out without realizing it. While driving if they are thinking of something they may miss their turn, miss an exit or possibly get in a car accident.

Distracted by anything from someone walking by them to the color of a tee shirt. This is extremely difficult for those in high activity or office situations. Has a hard time focusing when someone is talking to them and completing one task before going to another. There multi tasking and lack of focus may cause senseless mistakes. Being so easily distracted causes them to overlook important information.

Struggling to complete tasks, it may take then an hour to wash dinner dishes that would take someone else fifteen minutes.

Listening Skills suffer, they lose focus of the conversation, if they are in the middle of something and get interrupted are concerned about completing what they were doing and not listening.

Disorganized & Forgetfulness life sometimes gets in the way and overwhelming, sometimes it's a challenge to prioritize, to keep straight in your mind what you have done and what needs to be done. The tendency to forget important dates, appointments, taking medication, giving someone a ride, ect, ect.

Impulsive reckless behavior, reacting before thinking, interrupting others, lack of self control, exhibit an addictive side, socially awkward, not able to sit still at long meetings and making inappropriate comments.

Emotional / Self Esteem Issue / Moods gets easily frustrated, severe mood swings, can be stressed, flustered, lack of motivation, sensitive to criticism or others pointing out errors, temper rages and insecure.

Restless express agitation, can't sit still, feeling jumpy, racing thoughts, chatty, doing multiple things at once, takes risks, craves excitement and feelings of inner restlessness.

Many adults don't realize they have ADD and have spent years suffering from being unorganized, have been called lazy or stupid because of the forgetfulness and difficulty finishing tasks and sometimes they tend to be hard on themselves. They tend to have relationship issues caused by the ADD / ADHD symptoms. Their are health issues attributed to them as well because of the compulsive eating, substance abuse, anxiety, stress, tension and low self esteem.

Now, let me share this with you, I had ADD as a child and carried it into my adulthood. I have all these symptoms and was called lazy, stupid and was even asked if I retarded. Why in the world someone would ask such a question is beyond me. What I want to tell you is that there is help out there, their are support groups, medication that if taken correctly can make a huge difference. I learned how to study differently while I was using the methods suggested by my daughters special education teacher. That in itself was huge. I even took some college classes and made the deans list. Imagine that!

My mind
a complex
spinning around
to many
complete utter
trying to
make sense
what's going
why am i here
can i go
leave this confusion
even for a
of quiet relaxtion
where can
i hide
from the drama
that unfolds
the drama
that follows
i hear
i see
i cringe
my head
my mind
is tired
spinning out
of control
where am
i going
can i get
off the
i don't like
it in here
i get to
focus i say
the mind
in the
realm of
i quit !


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    • Catzgendron profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Congratulations on getting your GED and achieving the 3.9 GPA in college. You should be very proud of yourself. I tried to control my issues for years without medication with no luck. A few years back I lost all hope, gave into my increasing periods of depression, anxiety,OCD and Bi Polar, my life was turned upside down and I was beginning to have a nervous breakdown. Those issues were complicated by regressed and suppressed feelings that I had to deal with due to past traumas. Finally said enough and got myself help, began to take medication and have been so much better. I still have my moments because I will never be cured.

      Good Luck with yourself and your son!! Trust in God, it will get better .. Hugs

    • challks profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I was also diagnosed with ADD as a child , was constantly in trouble , couldn't focus on work , ended up dropping out of school and getting into a ton of trouble.

      Eventually with the help of my father/wife I was able to learn how to focus myself w/o medication and get on track - I did complete my GED after dropping out(thanks to my mother pushing me ) and when I was 26 I decided to go to a tech school for computer repair and network administration , finished top of my class and with a 3.9 GPA

      I still struggle with the same problems - some years it is worse and some years it seems not so bad

      I think i might go in to see someone if it might make my life easier it is worth a shot -

      not only that I see some of the same symptoms in one of my boys and i don't want him going through the same struggles I did

      Thanks for this hub

    • Catzgendron profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from North Chelmsford

      i glad that this was informative. When I first began my research I was floored by how many of the traits I possessed. When I was in school the term ADD or ADHD didn't exist. I was labeled slow, dumb or stupid. It was when my daughter was diagnosed that I realized I had a learning disability. It took me years to finally go for help and I am so glad I did.

    • Catzgendron profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from North Chelmsford

      Thank you for your comments. I suffered for years before I finally decided I needed help. I am glad that you were able to find something that worked for you. Makes a big difference doesn't it.

    • ALUR profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I don't sucummb to medical terms though there are people with different issues. I too believe I have ADD. So far I've found meditation if I'm consistent with it resolves the active brain. I am also using versatile writing to keep me focused and purge the extra energy.

    • Advice by Tammy profile image

      Advice by Tammy 

      6 years ago from Cyberland of course

      This is a very informative article. Over the last couple years I have serious wondered if I struggled with adult ADD because I suffered from a lot of those symptoms. At first I thought it was just mommy brain (and maybe it is) but it was getting harder to stay on track.

      I have implemented many different organizational tools that have helped me immensely stay focused and on track.


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