The symptoms of ADHD


Symptoms

ADHD fall into three groups :-

  • Lack of attention (inattentiveness)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior (Impassivity)

Some children with ADHD primarily have the inattentive type. Others may have a combination of types. Those with the inattentive type are less disruptive and are more likely to not be diagnosed with ADHD.

Inattentive symptoms

  1. Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
  2. Has difficulty keeping attention during tasks or play
  3. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  4. Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  5. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  6. Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
  7. Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
  8. Is easily distracted
  9. Is often forgetful in daily activities
ADHD-Brain

ADHD-Brain

Hyperactivity symptoms:

  1. Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  2. Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
  3. Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
  4. Has difficulty playing quietly
  5. Is often “on the go,” acts as if “driven by a motor,” talks excessively

Impassivity symptoms:

  1. Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  2. Has difficulty awaiting turn
  3. Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)

Signs and tests

Too often, difficult children are incorrectly labeled with ADHD. On the other hand, many children who do have ADHD remain undiagnosed. In either case, related learning disabilities or mood problems are often missed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines to bring more clarity to this issue.

The diagnosis is based on very specific symptoms, which must be present in more than one setting.

  • Children should have at least 6 attention symptoms or 6 hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms, with some symptoms present before age 7.
  • The symptoms must be present for at least 6 months, seen in two or more settings, and not caused by another problem.
  • The symptoms must be severe enough to cause significant difficulties in many settings, including home, school, and in relationships with peers.

In older children, ADHD is in partial remission when they still have symptoms but no longer meet the full definition of the disorder.

The child should have an evaluation by a doctor if ADHD is suspected. Evaluation may include:

  • Parent and teacher questionnaires (for example, Connors, Burks)
  • Psychological evaluation of the child AND family, including IQ testing and psychological testing
  • Complete developmental, mental, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial examination
ADHD Only

ADHD Only

Treatment

Treating ADHD is a partnership between the health care provider, parents or caregivers, and the child. For therapy to succeed, it is important to:

  • Set specific, appropriate target goals to guide therapy.
  • Start medication and behavior therapy.
  • Follow-up regularly with the doctor to check on goals, results, and any side effects of medications. During these check-ups, information should be gathered from parents, teachers, and the child.

If treatment does not appear to work, the health care provider should:

  • Make sure the child indeed has ADHD
  • Check for other, possible medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms
  • Make sure the treatment plan is being followed

MEDICATIONS

A combination of medication and behavioral treatment works best. There are several different types of ADHD medications that may be used alone or in combination.

Psychostimulants (also known as stimulants) are the most commonly used ADHD drugs. Although these drugs are called stimulants, they actually have a calming effect on People with ADHD.

These drugs include:

  • Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana)

A nonstimulant drug called atomoxetine (Strattera) may work as well as stimulants, and may be less likely to be misused.

Some ADHD medicines have been linked to rare sudden death in children with heart problems. Talk to your doctor about which drug is best for your child.

ADHD Brain

ADHD Brain

BEHAVIOR THERAPY

Talk therapy for both the child and family can help everyone understand and gain control of the stressful feelings related to ADHD.

Parents should use a system of rewards and consequences to help guide their child’s behavior. It is important to learn to handle disruptive behaviors. Support groups can help you connect with others who have similar problems.

Other tips to help your child with ADHD include:

  • Communicate regularly with the child’s teacher.
  • Keep a consistent daily schedule, including regular times for homework, meals, and outdoor activities. Make changes to the schedule in advance and not at the last moment.
  • Limit distractions in the child’s environment.
  • Make sure the child has good Health, varied diet, with plenty of fiber and basic nutrients.
  • Make sure the child gets enough sleep.
  • Praise and reward good behavior.
  • Provide clear and consistent rules for the child.

Alternative treatments for ADHD have become popular, including herbs, supplements, and chiropractic treatments. However, there is little or no solid evidence that these work.

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