Symptom Tests for Children

[Self-Test] Symptoms of Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD in Children

What do the hyperactive or impulsive symptoms of ADHD look like in a child’s everyday life? Could blurting out answers and talking too much in school be a sign of ADHD? How about getting into playground skirmishes? Constant fidgeting and tapping? Take this symptom test to gauge whether your child’s hyperactivity and impulsivity point to ADHD, and then share the results with an evaluating clinician.

Does My Child Have Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD?

Approximately 8.4 percent of children in the U.S. have ADHD, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Symptoms are often first diagnosed when a child reaches school age and has trouble sitting still for extended periods, disrupts the class by impulsively blurting out answers, experiences frustration or anger with classmates, and/or can’t seem to stay seated. ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity can include excessive talking, constant movement, acting as if driven by a motor, and acting without thinking — and to qualify for a diagnosis, a child must demonstrate a majority of ADHD’s symptoms in more than one setting.

If you believe your child may show signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity, answer the following ADHD symptom questions and bring the results to your primary care physician for evaluation and discussion. Only a mental-health professional can tell for sure whether symptoms are severe, frequent, and pervasive enough to suggest a positive ADHD diagnosis. But this self-test may provide some behavior clues and suggestions about next steps.

This questionnaire is designed to determine whether your child demonstrates symptoms similar to those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — and the hyperactive impulsive sub-type in particular. If you answer often to a significant number of these questions, consult a licensed mental health practitioner. An accurate diagnosis can only be made through clinical evaluation. 

Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association

My child doesn’t understand personal space and will often intrude on other people’s “bubbles.”

When our family attends an event where we must sit quietly for an extended period, such as church or the movies, my child feels physically uncomfortable and needs to get up to move around.

My child’s teacher has commented that my child gets out of their seat, sometimes during lessons or when the class is working quietly. They seem to need to sharpen their pencil, go to the lavatory, ask questions, or get supplies much more often than the other children in the class.

My child has difficulty controlling his or her emotions. They may suddenly get angry, but that anger can subside as quickly as it appears and they may not even remember why they were angry.

My child cannot sit still. He or she is always fidgeting, doodling, tapping a pencil, or swinging his feet — even at the end of a long, tiring day when the family is sitting at dinner or trying to quietly watch a television show.

My child’s teacher has commented that he or she blurts out answers during class, even before the teacher has finished asking the question.

My child acts without thinking and usually regrets his or her actions once they have had time to think about what they have done — for example, grabbing a toy, jumping on furniture, or disobeying a rule.

My child doesn’t seem to understand social norms and acts inappropriately in social situations, butting in conversations, standing too close to others, grabbing an item from someone else, or moving around while everyone else is standing or sitting still.

My child has trouble waiting his or her turn. When playing games, they become impatient and antsy when others are taking turns in an orderly fashion.

My child is outgoing and can easily talk to other children but has very few close friends. He or she is fun to be around but can’t settle down to be attentive to the other person’s needs.

My child has reacted physically when provoked by another child — hitting or tripping or yelling when he or she knows they should not. The reaction is almost instantaneous and, though they feel badly afterward, they are seemingly not able to control this behavior in the moment.

My child’s teachers have referred to my child as disobedient or defiant because his or her impulsive behavior may make it seem as if they don't care about classroom rules.

My child runs everywhere. He or she never walks and always seems to be in a rush. They climb on furniture and run through the house, even after being told not to. Their teacher has commented that they sometimes run through the school hallways, which is never allowed.

When my child is interested and hyperfocused on something like watching a favorite movie, he or she taps a finger or plays with an object in their hands.

My child engages in risky behavior. When outdoors, he or she may scale the highest tree, climb up on the roof, ride their bike dangerously fast, or run across the street without looking.

My child talks excessively. He or she sometimes follows me around the house talking. During dinner, they monopolize the conversation and will interrupt when others are talking.

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Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD Symptom Test for Children: Next Steps

1. Take This Test: Sensory Processing Disorder for Children
2. Take This Test: Full ADHD Symptoms Test for Children
3. Take This Test: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children
4. Take This Test General Anxiety Disorder for Children
5. Research: The Three Types of ADHD: Inattentive, Hyperactive and Combined

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