Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is one of the most common childhood disorders that continue to adulthood. ADHD can`t be cured but there are ways to manage behavior and some symptoms disappear as a child grows.
Types of ADHD
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
- Predominantly inattentive
- Combined hyperactive-inattentive and impulsive
Symptoms of ADHD
Children with ADHD exhibit one, two or all of the following behaviors: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness. Though it is normal for children to be inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive, these behaviors appear more often and severe in children with ADHD.
1) Symptoms of Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD
(a) Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
(b) Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected (e.g., leaving seat in classroom or in their workplace)
(c) Running or climbing in situations where it is inappropriate
(d) Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question
(e) Talking excessively
(f) Interrupting or intruding on others
(g) Having difficulty waiting in line or taking turns
(h) Unable to play or engage in leisure activities quietly
(i) Feeling very restless, as if “driven by a motor”, and talk excessively.
2) Predominantly inattentive
a) Not giving close attention to details or making careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities
b) Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
c) Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
d) Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities, often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another (e.g., fails to meet deadlines; messy, disorganized work; difficulty keeping organized)
e) Becomes easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, like sights and sounds (or unrelated thoughts)
f) Fails to pay attention to instructions and makes careless mistakes, not finishing work, chores or duties
g) Loses or forgets things needed for a task, like pencils, books, assignments or tools
h) Avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time
i) Is often forgetful in daily activities (e.g., doing chores, running errands; returning calls, paying bills; keeping appointments)
3) Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
Six or more symptoms of predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type and six or more symptoms of inattentive type are present. Most children have combined type of ADHD.
Conditions that coexist with ADHD
Some children with ADHD may also have other conditions. They may have one or more of the following:
- Learning disability – A condition when a school aged- child may struggle in reading, writing, spelling and math.
- Oppositional defiant disorder – Children with this condition may be overly stubborn or rebellious, they often argue with adults and refuse to obey rules.
- Conduct disorder – Behaviors with this condition includes, stealing, fighting, lying, or bullying others. Kids with conduct disorder are at risk of getting into trouble in school or with the law.
- Anxiety and depression – Medication may reduce the effects of anxiety and depression among children with ADHD.
- Bipolar Disorder – Children may exhibit extreme mood swings from mania (an extremely high elevated mood) to depression in short periods of time.
- Tourette syndrome – This is a brain disorder which affects a very few children. Those who have this condition may also have ADHD. Tourette syndrome is characterized by nervous ticks in the form of repetitive, involuntary movements such as eye blinks, facial twitches, or grimacing and/or vocalizations. These behaviors can be controlled with medication.
Grohol, John M. Psy.D. “Childhood and Teenager ADHD Symptoms”. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/childhood-teenager-adhd-symptoms/00017142
National Institute of Mental Health. (2012). “What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?” Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/index.shtml?rf=71264
Rayner, Georgina. “Classroom Accommodations for Specific Behaviors”. Center for ADHD Awareness, Canada. Retrieved from http://www.caddac.ca/cms/CADDAC_pdf/classroomaccommodations-with%20logo.pdf