Healthier ways of coping with educational, emotional, and behavioral concerns

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)



According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), there are three patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD. People with ADHD may show several signs of being consistently inattentive. They may have a pattern of being hyperactive and impulsive far more than others of their age. Or they may show all three types of behavior.


This means that there are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals. These are the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (that does not show significant inattention); the predominantly inattentive type (that does not show significant hyperactive-impulsive behavior) sometimes called ADD – an outdated term for this entire disorder; and the combined type (that displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms).
Some signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity are:
    •   Feeling restless, often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated 
    •   Running, climbing, or leaving a seat in situations where sitting or quiet behavior
         is expected 
    •   Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question 
    •   Having difficulty waiting in line or taking turns

 Some signs of inattentive:

    •   Often becoming easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds 
    •   Often failing to pay attention to details and making careless mistakes 
    •   Rarely following instructions carefully and completely losing or forgetting things
         like toys, or pencils, books, and tools needed for a task 
    •   Often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another
All children are sometimes restless, sometimes act without thinking, sometimes daydream the time away. When the child's hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect performance in school, social relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected. But because the symptoms vary so much across settings, ADHD is not easy to diagnose. This is especially true when inattentiveness is the primary symptom.
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