ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, previously called attention deficit disorder, or ADD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
The three major types of ADHD include:
- The most common type of ADHD
- Characterized by impulsiveness and hyperactivity combined with inattentiveness and distractibility
- Inattentive and distractible
- Characterized by with inattentiveness and distractibility without hyperactivity
- The least common type of ADHD
- Characterized by impulsiveness and hyperactivity without with inattentiveness and distractibility
What Are Symptoms of ADHD?
Symptoms of ADHD include:
- Difficulty staying seated
- Excessive squirming and fidgeting
- Excessive talking
- Difficulty playing quietly
- Interrupting others' activities
- Disruptive classroom behavior
- Talking excessively
- Problems getting along with others
- Blurting out answers too quickly
- Difficulty taking turns
- Inability to resist temptation
- Unintentional injury
- Unnecessary risk taking
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of attention to detail
- Easy distractibility
- Making careless mistakes
- Poor follow-through with assignments or tasks
- Underachieving in school
- Losing or misplacing things
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is diagnosed first by ruling out other conditions that can have similar symptoms.
The American Psychiatric Association defines the diagnostic criteria for ADHD as:
- Symptoms must be present in more than one setting (e.g., school and home)
- Symptoms must persist for at least six months
- Symptoms must be present before the age of 12 years
- Symptoms must impair function in academic, social, or occupational activities
- Symptoms must be excessive for the age of the child
- Other mental disorders that could account for the symptoms must be excluded
What Is the Treatment for ADHD?
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication.
Behavioral treatments are usually recommended for preschool-aged children before trying medications. School-aged children with ADHD often respond well to stimulant medication plus behavioral treatments and counseling.
Medications used to treat ADHD include:
- These have a paradoxical effect in children with ADHD, in that they do not cause children to become more stimulated, but rather, they work to improve attention, concentration, and self-control
- Nonstimulant medication
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