Why Are Some Kids With ADHD Prone to Disruptive Behavior?

Defiance and emotional outbursts are not themselves symptoms of ADHD, but kids with ADHD are at higher risk for developing these behaviors. Some kids who have ADHD tend to become frustrated and overwhelmed by demands placed on them that they cannot consistently fulfill, because of inherent deficits in paying attention, reining in impulses and controlling their activity level.

Making transitions from one activity to another can be particularly difficult for kids with ADHD in the classroom, especially when they involve stopping some activity they find more stimulating than what comes next. Clinicians call it an inability to “attention switch,” and it can result in children disrupting the class or acting out.