GROWING KIDS – Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood and can persist through adolescence and into adulthood. The causes remain unknown.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a person with ADHD has a chronic level of inattention, impulsive hyperactivity, or both which compromise their daily functioning.”
The CDC added that “the symptoms of the disorder must be present at levels that are higher than expected for a person’s developmental stage and must interfere with the person’s ability to function in different settings”—such as in school and at home.
A person with ADHD may struggle in important areas of life, “such as peer and family relationships and in their school or work performance,” the CDC said.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV, Text revision (DSM-IV-TR) estimates that three percent to seven percent of children suffer from ADHD. Some studies have estimated higher rates in community samples. ADHD is diagnoses approximately three times more often in boys than in girls.
There are three types of ADHD:
• Predominantly Inattentive Type. It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, pay attention to details, o follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
• Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long, such as when eating a meal or doing homework. Smaller children may run, jump, or climb constantly.
The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity.[pq]Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions.[/pq]
A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
• Combined Type. Symptoms of the first two types are equally predominant in the person.
As many as half of the people who have ADHD also have other mental disorders and disorders that occur along with ADHD can make it harder to diagnose and treat ADHD. They may also present further challenges to the individual with ADHD. The condition is usually diagnosed through several tests, as there is no single conclusive test for diagnosing ADHD.
ADHD can be treated through medical or behavioral therapies, or a combination of the two treatment modalities.