Signs and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates about two million children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the United States of America. In an average classroom it's estimated also that at least one child has ADHD.
ADHD is often hard to diagnose in children and only a health care professional can make a true diagnosis. Symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity and may vary in degrees of intensity.
Inattention is a Symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Children normally show signs of inattention at times but for those suffering from ADHD, the inattention is more severe and more frequent.
Some examples of inattention are:
- not being able to focus for long and changes tasks often
- losing necessary objects (pens, binders, paper) to complete tasks
- appearing not to listen, unable to follow a set of directions
- daydreaming and seeming to be in a world of their own
Hyperactivity: Another Symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
While most children have high energy levels and at times will show hyperactivity, there are some children who can not "come down" from the hyperactivity or seem to be able to control it. Children who have hyperactivity with Attention Deficit Disorder appear to always be in motion and have great difficulty in slowing down both their body and mind when necessary.
Some examples of hyperactivity are:
- very fidgety, unable to sit still
- always on the move, running, touching everything in sight
- finding it very hard, if not impossible, to do quiet activities such as book reading, homework or listening to others
Impulsivity is the Third Symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Again, many children may experience impulsivity at some point in their lifetime. Children with ADHD will experience impulsivity symptoms more frequently and to a higher degree than those of their peers.
Some examples of impulsivity are:
- extremely impatient, unable to wait their turn for speaking or for other activities
- emotional outbursts, unable to contain anger or frustration
- verbal outbursts, often saying inappropriate comments
- performing an action without first analyzing the consequences (such as darting onto roadways to follow a butterfly)
- constant interruption when others are speaking or doing other activities
Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity as Symptoms of ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very common childhood disorder. The three symptoms of ADHD – inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity – are indicators of the disorder but can be misleading as well. Some children may even have ADHD but may appear calmer and quieter, which can lead to the disorder not being diagnosed at all or diagnosed too late.
Any caregiver who is concerned their child may have ADHD should consult a medical professional so a patient history can be established to see if ADHD does, in fact, exist. Seeking support groups and communicating with your child's educators is useful in dealing with ADHD.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
National Institute of Mental Health. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (accessed September 7, 2010).
ADHD Support. "Three Subtypes of ADHD: One Shared Disorder" (accessed September 7, 2010).
ADHD Child. "ADHD Statistics" (accessed September 7, 2010).
Natural Support for ADD and ADD Symptoms:
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