Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known by its acronym ADHD, is a term used to described a set of characteristics found in children and adults that may hinder them from doing well in school, work, or in other environments . Some of the common traits used to diagnose someone with ADHD* are:
Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16, or five or more for
adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6
months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often "on the go" acting as if "driven by a motor".
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
(* symptom list found at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html)
Because these symptoms describe a set of behaviors that at one time or another, may be true for many of us, it is important to make sure that the diagnosis is made by a trained mental health professional.
Appleseed Community Mental health Center has a staff of caring mental health counselors and psychiatrists that can help determine if someone had ADHD and what the best type of treatment may be.
Additionally, Appleseed offers a comprehensive program for parents of children diagnosed with ADHD. The program includes components for the whole family. Click the links to find out more about the program: