Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder presents itself as a lack of ability to focus, hyperactivity and the inability to control behavior. It can be a combination of these symptoms, or only one of them. When these behaviors are noticeable and disruptive, the individual is often diagnosed with ADHD.
The People Who Have ADHD
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3 to 5 percent of all children have ADHD. Other experts say this figure is even higher, at 8 to 10 percent. Mental health professionals are reluctant to diagnose ADHD in children under the age of 5.
The demands of a structured school day are usually the circumstance that exposes ADHD symptoms. Difficulties in school will cause school professionals to urge parents to have their children evaluated for ADHD.
More than half of the children diagnosed with ADHD continue to struggle with the disorder as adults.
Children or adults suffering from ADHD regularly demonstrate three or more of the listed behaviors, which have lasted for at least six months.
• Easily distracted
• Unable to follow directions or complete tasks
• Makes careless mistakes
• Does not listen when spoken to
• Inability to wait their turns
• Struggle to process information accurately
• Have difficulty organizing and remembering daily tasks
• Do not enjoy activities that require concentration, sustained efforts or sitting still
• Frequently loses things
• Difficulty playing quietly or independently
• Talking excessively
• Blurting out answers before questions are completed
• Interrupting others
ADHD cannot be cured, but it can be successfully treated with combinations of different types of medication, psychotherapy, education and training. The most common ADHD medication is stimulant medication, which will calm a person with this disorder.
The ability of a stimulant to calm ADHD symptoms is also a good way to confirm the diagnoses because a stimulant would have the opposite effect on a person without ADHD.
The Importance of Treating ADHD
Although some individuals do not agree that so many children and adults need to be evaluated for ADHD, the alternative is not good for those with the disorder.
Children with uncontrolled ADHD symptoms get punished frequently and are unable to establish friendships. These children also fall behind in reaching academic milestones. Adults with ADHD struggle more with employment, personal relations and parenting issues.
Research has provided the tools to help people with ADHD have happier, healthier and more successful lives.