ADHD: Symptoms, Signs, and Assistance
When it comes to common childhood illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is the leading disorder. It has been estimated that over six million children across the US have been diagnosed with ADHD. While you may also hear this called ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, it has been recently changed by the American Psychiatric Association to be known as ADHD with the new diagnosis criteria in place. Learning the signs and symptoms of ADHD can help you and your doctor diagnosis this early and get a therapy plan in place. It can mean a huge difference in your family, your child’s school, and in their social life as a whole.
Different Types of ADHD
When it comes to diagnosing this disorder, there are three types that your child, or yourself, could be classified under. First is the inattentive classification. This is what is commonly referred to as ADD. This is where someone shows trouble focusing and is very easily distracted. They may not be able to keep their attention on one thing for any length of time. While they are distracted, they do not show signs of being hyperactive.
The second type of ADHD is the hyperactive disorder. One who has this type of ADHD is very impulsive and overly active. They have a hard time sitting still and can make bad decision due to their inability to control impulses. The third and final type is a combination of both of these disorders. One with the third type will show symptoms of hyperactive behavior, impuslivity, and they are easily distracted.
The Symptoms of ADHD
When it comes to diagnosing someone, a child or adult, with ADHD, there are several symptoms that are typically found. No matter if it’s hyperactive, inattentive, or a combination of the two, here are some common symptoms to look for when you’re concerned.
There are three main symptoms that are shown in someone dealing with this disorder. Those are inattentive behavior, impulsiveness, and the hyperactive behavior discussed above. While these are the three primary noticeable manifestations, there are others that you may see as well. When your doctor is diagnosing your child, they will need to present at least six of the symptoms if they are under the age of 16. If you or your child is over 17 years of age, they only need to present with five of the symptoms to gain the diagnosis of ADHD. These symptoms also have to be outside of the normal hyperactive behavior or inability to focus of the child’s current age group and they must be a persistent issue for at least six months prior to the diagnosis.
Symptoms of Hyperactive Behavior
These are just a few of the symptoms of hyperactive behavior your child may show. Keep in mind that these should be more than normal problems for your child’s current age.
- Talks excessively
- Seems as if they are always going, never relaxing
- Runs, climbs, or walks around in situations that the behavior is uncalled for
- Constantly squirming in their seats, can’t be still, always fidgeting
- Can not play quietly or seem to relax
Signs of Impulsiveness
Here are a few signs of impulsive behavior you may notice in your child.
- Inability to wait their turn in line
- Always interrupts others when talking
- May tend to blurt out answers in class or blurt out talking when needed to be quiet
Signs of Inattentive Behavior
Here are a few of the symptoms you may see when you’re child has the inattentive behavior of ADHD. Remember, these are just a few of the signs and they should not be normal behaviors for your child’s age.
- Very easily distracted from a task at hand
- Ignores when spoken to directly
- They do not seem to follow instructions well and can lead to incomplete chores or schoolwork
- Constantly losing vital things such as keys, homework, or phone
- Can not seem to get organized
- Does not give details for activities or schoolwork
Diagnosing Children and Adults with ADHD
For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, they must show the signs and symptoms before the age of 12. This must also impact their life in multiple areas such as school, home, and social settings. The symptoms also must not be able to be explained due to a different disorder such as a psychotic disorder, anxiety disorder, or a mood disorder.
For adults, the problems have usually been around since they were a child but they were never properly diagnosed. While they can be diagnosed with the same three types, it is usually slightly different than what the children experience. Typically an adult will get evaluated due to the request by someone close to them who has noticed a problem.
There is Hope
While the symptoms range in severity and how it can affect your life, there is hope for those dealing with ADHD. Once you have a diagnosis you’re that much closer to getting control back of your life. Your doctor will help you find the right therapy and treatment for your specific ADHD. This could range in items such as medication or changing up the nutrition and diet you’re currently on. Do not lose heart! You can get the help you or your child needs.