What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence and is a biologically based difference in brain functioning that limits the person’s ability to perform a variety of tasks at school or work and results in less than optimal performance compared to the person’s innate abilities. It can be accompanied by hyperactivity and impulsivity in some people.
Types of ADHD
The current classification of ADHD identifies two subtypes of the disorder and then combines both subtypes to add a third subtype. One key is that these disorders are usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. Symptoms must begin before age seven.
The first type is ADHD Inattentive type. There are nine symptoms in this group and to be diagnosed a child must have at least six of the symptoms that exist in a variety of contexts and they must be severe enough to cause significant impairment. The nine symptoms are as follows:
- fails to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes.
- has difficulty sustaining attention.
- does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- does not follow through on assignments or instructions.
- has difficulty organizing tasks or activities.
- avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort.
- loses things necessary for tasks or activities.
- is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
- is forgetful in daily activities.
A second type groups symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. The symptoms are as follows:
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in his seat.
- leaves seat in situations where remaining in seat is expected.
- runs or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations.
- has difficulty playing or engaging in activities quietly.
- is “on the go” or acting as if “driven by a motor.”
- talks excessively.
- blurts out answers before questions completed.
- has difficulty waiting his turn.
- interrupts or intrudes on others.
Six are needed for diagnosis of the hyperactive/impulsive type.
There is a “Combined” type of ADHD in which at least six of each group are identified. Children where both types of symptoms occur generally are easily identified and have the broadest range of school and family problems.
ADHD Wichita Falls defines ADHD as “an inherited neurobiological difference which results in deficits in self-regulation and performance.”