Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) is a common neurobehavioral disorder that is characterized by inattention coupled with hyperactivity or impulsivity. The result is impaired function. Over 4 million children aged 4 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Although it is most often diagnosed in children, adults may also suffer from this condition. Over 2 million children receive drug treatment to control their ADHD symptoms.
ADHD symptoms can be divided into three categories. These are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Learning to recognize ADHD symptoms can help to determine when to seek professional help. These symptoms need to be present for at least 6 months before someone is diagnosed with ADHD. Not every child will exhibit all the symptoms of ADHD. Each individual case is different so if you have concerns you should address them with your health care professional.
Most children are inattentive from time to time. If your child has several or more of signs of inattention or the symptoms are severe, you should get him or her examined for ADHD.
Inattention symptoms include:
– Failing to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.
– Often having difficulty in staying focused when doing tasks or during playtime activities.
– Often does not listen or respond when directly spoken to.
– Not following through with instructions and does not finish tasks such as schoolwork, chores or work duties.
– Having difficulty in organizing tasks or activities.
– Avoiding or refusing to carry out tasks that require close mental effort.
– Often losing things needed for tasks or activities such as pencils, school assignments, books or tools.
– Often forgeting daily activities.
All children may show signs of hyperactivity because they are easily excited. However, if these symptoms are severe or persist for longer than 6 months, they may indicate ADHD.
Hyperactivity symptoms include:
– Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat.
– Often leaving the classroom seat or getting up in situations where they are expected to stay seated.
– Often running or climbing excessively in inappropriate situations. In adults it may be a feeling of restlessness.
– Having difficulty in playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
– Talking excessively.
The inability to contain impulses can be a sign of ADHD. These symptoms need to be present for 6 months or must be acute in cases of ADHD.
Impulsivity symptoms include:
– Blurting out answers before questions have been completed.
– Having difficulty waiting for his or her turn.
– Often interrupting others or bursting into conversations or games.
– Impulsive behavior that started before the age of 7.
– Can’t help themselves in situations where they need to be in control of themselves.
– Are impulsive in more than one setting such as in school and at home.
While many of these symptoms are common among children, they may indicate that the child has ADHD if persist for longer than 6 months. Pay attention to how many of the symptoms are present and to what degree. If you feel that your child has ADHD symptoms, you should arrange to have him or her diagnosed by a healthcare professional.