Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a problem characterized by inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination. Children or adults with ADHD have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors. They might act without thinking about what the result of their actions will be.
For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD in children, they must be out of the normal range for a child's age and development. Kids mature at different rates and have different personalities, temperaments, and energy levels. Most children get easily distracted, act impulsively, and struggle to concentrate at one time or another. Sometimes, these normal factors may be mistaken for ADHD.
ADHD symptoms usually appear early in life, often between the ages of three and six. Because symptoms vary from person to person, the disorder can be hard to diagnose. Parents may first notice that their child loses interest in things sooner than other children, or it seems constantly "out of control." Often, teachers notice the symptoms first, for example when a child has trouble following rules, or frequently "spaces out" in the classroom or on the playground.
Adolescent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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The symptoms of ADHD fall into three groups:
- Lack of attention (inattentiveness)
- Impulsive behavior (impulsivity)
Some children with ADHD primarily have the inattentive type. Others may have a combination of types. There are a variety of questionnaires available to health care providers, both for the parent and the child, in order to determine if the child is suffering from ADHD.
- Fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
- Has difficulty sustaining attention during tasks or play
- Does not seem to listen when addressed directly
- Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties
- Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
- Is easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
- Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirms in seat
- Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
- Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Is often "on the go," acts as if "driven by a motor
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Has difficulty awaiting turn
- Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)