Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Many neurodevelopmental conditions can often exist together, but each can be treated in different ways. The picture below illustrates how the conditions overlap. Please use the drop down menu to view other conditions.
What Is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition whereby individuals find it difficult to focus their attention and to control their behaviour. Individuals with ADHD usually cannot concentrate for very long and may do or say things without thinking of the consequences.
ADHD affects individuals across the lifespan and is more commonly seen in boys than girls. It is estimated that 1 or 2 children in every 100 will have significant ADHD. In many cases, ADHD coexists with other conditions including Autism, Tourette’s Syndrome and ODD.
What Are The Symptoms Of ADHD?
There are three core symptoms of ADHD: inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Examples include:
- Not paying attention to detail
- Easily distracted
- Losing things
- Blurts out answers
- Interrupts conversations
- Difficulty with taking turns
- Always on the go
- Cannot sit still
How Is ADHD Diagnosed?
There are three subtypes of ADHD;
- predominantly inattentive subtype
- predominantly inattentive and impulsive subtype
- Combined subtype – inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive
At present, there is no simple test for ADHD. For a diagnosis, a detailed assessment needs to take place with a specialist who has an interest in this area. An assessment will examine the impact of the individual’s difficulties including when they started occurring, assessing the severity of the symptoms and, via school feedback, seeing if symptoms are present in several settings.
What Causes ADHD?
ADHD is believed to be a highly genetic condition. It is difficult to know what exactly causes ADHD, however, it is believed to be linked with the chemical dopamine which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Consequently, this means that messages are not being sent effectively in the brain. Additionally, there are some environmental factors which can contribute towards the development of ADHD. These include diet, exercise, parenting techniques, and prenatal risk factors.
What Is The Treatment For ADHD?
There are a wide range of treatment strategies available for individuals with ADHD. These include:
It is important that strategies are considered to give the individual an opportunity to learn. ADHD is an explanation, not an excuse.