Symptom Tests for Children

[Self-Test] Could Your Child Have ADD (aka Inattentive ADHD)?

What do inattentive ADHD symptoms look like in a child? Could your child’s disorganization, poor focus, and faulty memory be signs of ADD? Take this symptom test to gauge whether your child’s behaviors point to ADHD, and then share the results with an evaluating clinician.

Does My Child Have Inattentive ADHD (aka ADD) Symptoms?

When you think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may immediately think of the hyperactive, perpetually-in-trouble child – one who can’t stay still or quiet. But there is another type of ADHD – inattentive type (ADD) – that can also cause difficulties at home, in school, and in social situations; it’s just typically more difficult to “spot.” Why? Children with inattentive ADHD are often quiet and withdrawn. They may be seen as underachievers and daydreamers. Many have trouble with organization and time management. They may take longer to process information. Many silently struggle.

Here is the full list of inattentive ADHD symptoms. 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 disorder (ADHD or ADD) — and the inattentive 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 and reviewed by Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., a member of the ADDitude ADHD Medical Review Panel.

My child doesn’t complete homework assignments because she forgets to bring home needed supplies, loses worksheets, or forgets to write down the assignment in detail.

My child has trouble managing time. For example, he inaccurately guesses how long a task is going to take, even if he has completed the task before.

My child does well on short school assignments, such as worksheets, but struggles to complete longer assignments, such as essays. When working on essays and other work that requires sustained attention, he has to be redirected back to the task several times.

When I talk to my child, she seems as if she isn’t paying attention. She may stare off into space while I am talking and then pause for a long time before answering me.

My child’s teacher has complained that she is defiant because she doesn’t seem to listen when the teacher is talking or doesn’t remember steps after they have been explained.

My child has difficulty completing chores because he misses steps, forgets instructions, or breaks items because he is rushing or being careless.

After I’ve given my child instructions with several steps, he can complete the first step or two but then forgets what comes next.

My child’s room is a mess, with clothes, papers, and toys scattered everywhere. Sometimes it is hard to find the floor. The teacher says his desk looks like a jumble of papers.

My child is easily distracted. For example, when getting ready for school in the morning she may stop to look at something, play with a toy, or watch television — and forget what she is supposed to be doing to get out the door on time.

My child procrastinates starting any long-term school projects and only works on projects when prompted. Even then, he will only work for a short time before being distracted.

My child seems like she is in a world of her own. She stares into space and daydreams.

My child seems unmotivated and procrastinates when she should be doing chores, homework, and schoolwork. Her teacher refers to her as an underachiever and implores her to “try harder.”

My child misses important information in school because he is distracted by something interesting outside the window or activity in the hallway.

My child has trouble making friends. Other children say he seems disinterested in anyone else and mostly stays to himself.

When playing with toys, my child changes games quickly, moving from one thing to another every few minutes. Other times, he may get lost in an activity or a game for hours if it piques his interest.

(Optional) Would you like to receive your child\'s inattentive ADHD symptom test results — plus more helpful resources — via email from ADDitude?

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Inattentive ADHD (aka ADD) in Children: Next Steps

1. Take This Test Full ADHD Symptoms Test for Children
2. Understand How Inattentive and Hyperactive ADHD Differ
3. Download Your Free, In-Depth Guide to Inattentive ADD
4. Take This Test Autism Symptom Test for Children
5. Take This Test General Anxiety Disorder for Children