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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