And if it was not a matter of will… ADHD is a neurobiological disorder. It is not caused by parental neglect or resulting from a child’s bad temper.

Children with ADHD manifest the following symptoms:


• Inattentive to details
• Difficulty maintaining concentration
• Easily distracted
• Appears not to listen when spoken to
• Forgets tasks before they are completed
• Frequently misplaces things


• Has difficulty staying still
• Frequently gets up
• Often runs about or climbs
• Talks excessively
• Constantly bounces in place
• Unable to remain calm


• Acts without thinking
• Does not wait their turn
• Interrupts others
• Blurts out answers before hearing the whole question
• Intrudes on other children’s games

Who makes the diagnosis?

While the above factors could lead you to think your child has ADHD, you should consult your family physician to be sure, because some other medical condition could be the actual cause. For instance, insomnia can result in symptoms of inattention.

Your physician will base their diagnosis on your observations, as well as those from other persons who regularly interact with your child: teachers, coaches, childcare worker, school psychologist, etc.

Your physician may also bring in outside professionals to establish a diagnosis, such as psychologists or neuropsychologists.

Certain environments attended by your child will require an official diagnosis before implementing accommodating measures, such as undergoing tests alone or getting extra time to hand in homework.

However, a medical diagnosis might not be necessary if the proper supporting strategies are in place and the symptoms are not severe enough to hinder your child’s social integration and psychoaffective development.

Severity scale (intensity — frequency — duration)

Mild condition
The child experiences only a few issues related to their condition, whether at school, in their social life or at home. The child requires extra effort on your part, but they manage to eventually work out their issues.

Moderate condition
Issues are readily apparent. Normal living conditions are impossible for the child and their family. However, once proper mitigation measures are taken, the situation becomes workable.

Severe condition
Symptoms are much more intense. Issues arise in all environments: at home, at school, and during social time. Socialization is a major issue and difficult situations are a daily occurrence. Parents feel drained.

Source: Marie-Josée Arseneault, psychologist