Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioral disorder typically diagnosed among children. However, adults may also be diagnosed with the condition given they can meet certain criteria. Adult ADHD is a separate branch of ADHD. For children to be diagnosed with ADHD they need to have demonstrated enough symptoms to establish them as being out of their peer specific range of behaviours.
Basically, what that means is that individuals who are identified as suffering from ADHD will have shown significant discrepancies in behaviour when compared to their peers. Sometimes, the condition be traced to hereditary factors while in other cases, the reason may remain unknown. It has been observed that ADHD is more common in boys than in their female counterparts. If there is the slightest suspicion that the child may be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, a fast referral with a medical professional should be sought.
Broadly speaking there are three areas of behaviour where symptoms of ADHD are most notable:
Inattention: Young individuals who find it challenging to stay focused on task and exhibit fleeting attention may be suffering from the more obvious symptoms of ADHD. These children will typically make careless mistakes, be unable to pay attention to detail and will likely find it very hard to follow through with instructions.
At the same time, their organizational skills are not their strongest skill and they will appear distracted easily. Inattentiveness among children with ADHD symptoms may also include issues like forgetfulness and not seeming to listen when addressed directly.
Hyperactivity: Another common red flag, children will appear extremely restless, will fidget a lot and find it very hard to sit still for prolonged periods of time. Remaining quiet during playtime is difficult for these children and they are inclined to running and climbing excessively. Ranting out of habit is also observed as a common symptom among these children.
Impulsive behavior: Exhibiting impulsive behaviour is very common among children with ADHD. Unable to restrain themselves, such individuals will blurt out answers, do not favor turn taking, and will likely interrupt others when speaking.
There is a specific criteria that needs to be met before a diagnosis for ADHD can be given. Since many of the symptoms appear generic enough, children need to exhibit certain behaviours in different settings consistently before they can be diagnosed.
Depending on the child’s age the criteria also varies. For instance, children younger than the age of seven need to show a minimum of 6 inattention symptoms or 6 of the hyperactivity/ impulsivity symptoms to be diagnosed.
These symptoms need to be apparent consistently for a minimum period of six months, be noted in two or more settings, independent of any other concerns. Locations where these symptoms can be noted and raise concerns include home, schools, day cares and other social locations.
Prior to handing out a confirmed diagnosis, parents, teachers and care givers will be consulted by professionals. Any concerns regarding physical, developmental and psychological issues will be evaluated.