I realize you are all too familiar with the eight common
symptoms of ADD, but I felt it might be beneficial to make sure we are
all on the same theoretical page regarding ADD diagnosis. As I explain
briefly each of the eight symptoms, have a client in mind and make a
mental checklist as to the symptoms he or she is exhibiting and the therapeutic
strategy you are using. Even though this course deals with Attention
Deficit Disorder in children, I would like to use this
track to compare and contrast eight common ADD symptoms in children
The eight common ADD symptoms we will
be comparing and contrasting children with adults are: inattention, impulsivity,
difficulty delaying gratification, emotional overarousal, hyperactivity,
noncompliance, social problems, and disorganization.
8 Common Symptoms
Symptom #1 - Inattention
Regarding the first common symptom, inattention, clients
with ADD will often find themselves having trouble concentrating on many
things. As you know, inattention may hurt adults with ADD at work, where
they may not be able to finish as much as they would like to. At home,
inattention may be the reason adults don’t stay on top of household
chores. For children with ADD, the situation is similar: they may not
be able to complete schoolwork or manage their responsibilities at home.
The day can seem like an endless series of frustrations. However, this
inattention can also frustrate ADD clients in social situations where
many conversations are occurring. The person with ADD will likely have
difficulty following the conversation to which they are supposed to be
Symptom #2 - Impulsivity
The second common ADD symptom, impulsivity, is often not
as apparent in adults with ADD as it is in children with ADD. People
with ADD may have a tendency to interrupt, blurt things out, or yell
in conversation. Sound familiar?
Symptom #3 - Difficulty Delaying Gratification
The third common symptom, difficulty delaying gratification,
is related to the ADD client’s sense of impatience and frustration
stimulated by having to wait and think. For children with ADD, difficulty
delaying gratification often causes them to have trouble finding the
patience for academic tasks. Adults with ADD may display the difficulty
delaying gratification symptom by lacking the patience to balance a check
book, file a tax return, or pay the bills.
Symptom #4 - Emotional Overarousal
In addition to inattention, impulsivity, and difficulty
delaying gratification, the fourth symptom of ADD is emotional
overarousal. For ADD children, emotional overarousal is primarily manifested
in hyper-silly routines and ferocious tempers. Once they have become
adults, the hyper-silly routine is less common. However, ADD adults
often still struggle with their tempers. Sound like a client of yours?
Symptom #5 - Hyperactivity
The fifth common symptom of ADD is hyperactivity. As you
are aware, hyperactivity is commonly displayed in children and adults
with ADD by a tendency to fidget and move around a lot. However, hyperactivity
can also take a verbal form. ADD clients may have rapid, non-stop speech,
and they may not be very good listeners. As you know, some clients are
ADD but not HD. In the next track we will talk about these idiosyncratic
Symptom #6 - Noncompliance
The sixth common symptom of ADD, noncompliance, is simply
a problem with following rules. Children with ADD may be easier to spot
by the noncompliance symptom because there are often more rules for them
to break. I have noticed that in adults with ADD, noncompliance is less
obvious because they don’t often have others telling them what
to do as much. However, they may have difficulty with supervision in
the workplace. Supervision often stirs up “anti-parent” antagonisms
from their childhoods.
Symptom #7 - Social Problems
The seventh common symptom of ADD is social problems. Children
with ADD may struggle to make friends and get along with peers. By the
time they are adults, people with ADD have generally given up on creating
and maintaining long lasting relationships. The social problems are often
caused by other symptoms of ADD: temper, talkativeness, and restlessness,
for example. Social problems will also be dealt with in detail on the
next track as an idiosyncratic, unique pattern.
Symptom #8 - Disorganization
Finally, the eighth common symptom of ADD is disorganization.
In children with ADD, disorganization is often noticed through schoolwork.
For ADD adults, disorganization is manifested in their difficulty keeping
track of dates, times, and appointments. For both children and adults
with ADD, their memory can be amazingly erratic. They may often have
a number of projects that were started and never completed. Sound like
a client of yours?
On this track... we have talked about the eight common symptoms
of ADD. The eight common symptoms are inattention, impulsivity, difficulty
delaying gratification, emotional overarousal, hyperactivity, noncompliance,
social problems, and disorganization.
On the next track, we will discuss the five Idiosyncratic,
Unique Patterns of children with ADD. The five Idiosyncratic, Unique
patterns of children with ADD are good social skills, a high IQ, shyness,
no siblings or one-on-one preschool situation with parents, and ADD without
hyperactivity. We will also talk about the misdiagnosis of ADD for Learning
What are the eight common symptoms of ADD? To select and enter your
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