ADHD checklist

On one of our regular visits to my son's Pediatrician (in Manila), the doctor mentioned that he is way too hyper and active for his age (he was 2 years old). And that she would like to continue on studying him if I would permit it. I said "yes" but never gave it another thought. The doctor didn't pursue it too.

When he was 3.5 years old, the doctor again noticed his inability to sit still and focus... but at that time, we were already planning on migrating, again, I didn't thought there was anything to it. I guess I just thought that he was normal and acts like any kid his age.

When he was in Kindergarten (in Canada), the teacher's would always comment about his inability to focus and his short attention span... and yet they all said that he's smart. I know he is a smart kid. But we (me and the teachers) couldn't see his full potential since he is easily distracted with his surroundings. When I ask our family doctor about this, she just said to wait and see, as it is way to early to say if it is ADHD or not.

When his grade 1 teacher told me that my son could be "ADHD" (again). I really couldn't believe it, or should I say I don't want to accept it. But it couldn't be just coincidental that so many people already noticed it... So I began my research and discover this ADHD checklist (which I have copied below).


  • a professional uses the symptoms checklist to make the diagnosis of ADHD
  • behavior has persisted for at least six months
  • to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level
  • must present with six or more of the following
  • often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • often leaves seat in situations in which staying seated is expected
  • often runs about or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations
  • in adolescents or adults, may be limited to feelings of restlessness
  • often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • often talks excessively
  • often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • often has difficulty awaiting turn
  • often interrupts or intrudes on others (conversations, games)
  • often fails to give close attention to details
  • often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • often makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • often does not follow through on instructions
  • often fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions
  • often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • often avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • often loses things necessary for tasks (assignments, pencils, books, etc.)
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • is often forgetful in daily activities
Checklist Copyright © Centers for Disease Control

I did the checklist myself and was surprised at how many was applicable to my son. On HYPERACTIVITY its 6/7... on IMPULSIVITY its 3/3... on INATTENTION its 6/12! And I would say that he is on the extreme side. This cause me to panic! It was hard to accept that my son could have a "disability". But then, knowing the signs of an ADHD explains a lot of his "weird" behavior in the past.

Here's one incident: we were lining up for a roller coaster ride, when all of the sudden he would put his hand beside his head and waving it at the same time shaking his head and his whole body while shouting "waaaaaaah..." in front of a boy we didn't know. The boy with his mom just stared at my son. I apologize and hold him by the hand and look into his eyes and ask "what were you doing?" He looked at me, puzzled, "I don't know mommy. Why?"

I ask my hubby to do the checklist too and then we compared our answers. Next I gave the checklist to his teachers. And then I brought all the checklist to our family doctor who in turn referred us to a specialist.

And that is how it all started. Now the question is whether to medicate or not.


ANALYSE said...

hi jo! it's good to know how openminded and courageous you are regarding such topic about your child. the son of a cousin is also hyperactive and my sis, who is a psychologist told her to do something about it, but my cousin took it as negative comment about his son. i just hope she will do some actions just like you did...

JO said...

Hi Analyse,

It is hard for a parent like me to admit that my kid have a disability. Your cousin have to do her own research and be open minded about it. If she wants to help her kid, she needs to accept and acknowledge the situation first.