Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, sometimes called ADHD can affect children, teenagers and adults.  It is generally described as a “persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning and development” (DSM V.)

ADHD symptoms must be present for at least 6 months and not be consistent with the individual’s developmental. The symptoms must have direct impact on the individual’s social, academic or occupational functioning.   The symptoms are as follows:

  • Inattention:
    • An inability to maintain or reduced attention and focus and easily distracted
    • Careless mistakes
    • Doesn’t listen when spoken to
    • Doesn’t follow through on instructions and doesn’t finish tasks; often described as forgetful
    • Difficulty organizing, messy, misses deadlines
    • Avoids tasks that require continued attention and concentration
    • Loses thinks
  • Hyperactivity/Impulsivity:
    • Fidgets, squirms, taps
    • Can’t remain seated; always needs to be “on the go”
    • Runs and climbs when it is not considered appropriate
    • Difficulty playing quietly
    • Excessive talking, blurts out answers or interrupts others
    • Difficulty waiting in lines or waiting for their turn

Individuals may have symptoms related to both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity called a “combined presentation” or symptoms may be predominantly inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive.

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