The prevalence of ADHD worldwide is estimated between 5-7% of the population of children and adolescents. A study by the Centers for Disease Control in 2011 found that 11% of children between ages 4-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD per parent reporting.
Attention Deficit Disorders are often misunderstood. It is important to know that people with ADHD are doing the best they can and do not try to be forgetful, hyper or disruptive.
Depending upon the person’s symptoms, three types of ADHD exist:
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
- Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
- Combined Presentation (if enough symptoms for both criteria are present)
To be diagnosed with Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, 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)
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation criteria requires that 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 the person’s 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.
It is important to note that new diagnostic criteria also require that these symptoms be present in more than one setting. To be formally diagnoses a qualified mental health professional or your pediatrician must assess you. These criteria are simply provided for your information.
If you are concerned that you or your child may be experiencing ADHD we suggest seeking a comprehensive psychological evaluation to clarify diagnosis. Some people with high anxiety, depression or medical conditions can appear to have ADHD so it is important to have a comprehensive assessment.
For more information on our counseling services and scheduling, please contact us to schedule today.
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