What does attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) look like?

Characteristics of ADHD include the following:

 Inattention  Hyperactivity-impulsivity
  • Not paying attention to detail and making careless mistakes
  • Losing concentration and becoming distracted
  • Not listening
  • Difficulties completing activities
  • Problems with organisation
  • Avoiding tasks that involve mental effort
  • Losing things
  • Being forgetful
  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Often getting up when seated
  • Moving about at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble completing activities quietly
  • Talking excessively or out of turn
  • Interrupting

What is ADHD?

There are three forms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder:

  1. Combined presentation
    Criteria for both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity are met.
  2. Predominantly inattentive presentation
    Criteria for inattention but not hyperactivity-impulsivity are met.
  3. Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation
    Criteria for hyperactivity-impulsivity but not inattention are met.

As you can see, you do not have to be hyperactive to have ADHD.

What does an assessment involve?

  • A general questionnaire is completed by the client.
  • Screening questionnaires are completed by the client as well as a parent and partner if possible.
  • A decision is then made about whether to conduct a diagnostic interview.
  • The diagnostic interview involves a discussion about issues including key concerns, independent living skills, mental and physical health, and education or work.
  • The diagnostic interview also involves the completion of the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults (DIVA) for over 18s. Alternative tools are used for 16- and 17-year-olds.- Screening questionnaires (completed by the client and someone who knew them in childhood).
  • It is usually possible to determine whether a client meets the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD on the day of the assessment.
  • A detailed report is produced explaining the findings of the assessment and providing recommendations.


Please note that if you wish to explore the option of drug therapy, it may be more straightforward if you consulted with a medical professional such as a psychiatrist who could assess you and prescribe medication.

Further information about ADHD in adults is available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder-UK.  Further information about ADHD in children can be found at: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Call Louise on 07702 797484

Louise Hilliar is a Chartered Psychologist based near Bristol who provides assessments for ADHD. Please contact Louise if you would like further details.