Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is the abbreviation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is one of the most common childhood behavior disorders. Of all children referred to mental health professionals about 35% are referred for ADHD, more than for any other condition. Those with ADHD often have problems in most areas of their life, including home, school, work and in relationships. When teen parents struggle with ADHD, it impacts not only their school success, but their coping abilities as parents as well.  Some parents may find it difficult to remember what the pediatrician tells them at a doctor’s visit, or may be challenged with impulsive behaviors or choices that impact their child.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurological disorder that impacts individuals in four main categories:  

  1. Attention – Causing people to have problems paying attention, focusing on a task, or finishing tasks, especially if they are not very interesting tasks.
  2. Impulsivity – Causing a lack of self-control. Impulsive behaviors, or choices, can cause havoc in relationships, work, school or life.
  3. Hyperactivity – Many (though not all) with ADHD are "bouncy" and hyperactive, always "on the go" and restless.
  4. Easily Bored – Unless the task is very stimulating, like a video game or TV program or outside playing, those with attention disorders are often easily bored by a task - especially bored by homework, math tests, balancing checkbooks or doing taxes, and many of these tasks just never get done. 

From the ADHD Information Library at www.newideas.net.

What Are the Symptoms?
ADHD used to be known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. In 1994, it was renamed ADHD and broken down into three subtypes, each with its own pattern of behaviors:

Type 1: An Inattentive Type, with signs that include:

  • Inability to pay attention to details or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities
  • Difficulty with sustained attention in tasks or play activities
  • Apparent listening problems
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Problems with organization
  • Avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort
  • Tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks or homework
  • Distractibility
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities

Type 2: A Hyperactive-impulsive Type, with signs that include:
  • Fidgeting or squirming
  • Difficulty remaining seated
  • Excessive running or climbing
  • Difficulty playing quietly
  • Always seeming to be "on the go"
  • Excessive talking
  • Blurting out answers before hearing the full question
  • Difficulty waiting for a turn or in line
  • Problems with interrupting or intruding

Type 3: A Combined Type, which involves a combination of the other two types and is the most common
Although it can often be challenging to work with students with ADHD, it's important to remember they are not bad, acting out or being difficult on purpose. Students who are diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty controlling their behavior without medication or behavioral therapy.


Additional information on ADHD

KidsHealth
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WebMD
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