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ADHD in Children
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults. ADHD in children is described as a persistent or on-going pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that gets in the way of daily life or typical development. Children with ADHD may also have difficulties with maintaining attention, executive function (or the brain's ability to begin an activity, organize itself and manage tasks), and working memory.
ADHD symptoms in kids often overlap with symptoms of other mental and physical health conditions. When a parent reports, "He can't focus," or "She can't finish her homework," is the underlying cause ADHD, anxiety, a reading problem, or within developmental norms? To assess ADHD and develop treatment plans, clinicians evaluate specific symptom areas and try to determine how long the symptoms have been present and how much impairment they cause.
ADHD is classified into three different presentations
- Combined Inattentive & Hyperactive-Impulsive
Symptoms a child must have for an ADHD diagnosis
In making the ADHD diagnosis, children should have six or more symptoms of the disorder. The criteria of symptoms for a diagnosis of ADHD:
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Has difficulty sustaining attention
- Does not appear to listen
- Struggles to follow through on instructions
- Has difficulty with organization
- Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring a lot of thinking
- Loses things
- Is easily distracted
- Is forgetful in daily activities
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair
- Has difficulty remaining seated
- Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults
- Difficulty engaging in activities quietly
- Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel inside like they were driven by a motor
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Difficulty waiting or taking turns
- Interrupts or intrudes upon others
Combined inattentive & hyperactive-impulsive presentation
- Has symptoms from both of the above presentations
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