It seems today that almost everywhere we go we hear the terms ADD or ADHD. I hear it in public, at school, and even at home. I'll admit for the longest time, I was in denial that my daughter had ADHD. Eventually, as her grades plummeted and her teachers begged for mercy, I gave into the notion, that perhaps my daughter truly did have ADHD. Like so many other children and their parents we trekked to the psychiatrists office to see what his determination would be. A prescription, praises from her teachers, and rising grades, pretty much summed up that her diagnosis is correct: my daughter has ADHD! So what exactly is ADHD?
Larry B. Silver, M.D.(2002) calls ADHD a neurologically-based disorder caused by a deficiency of a specific neurotransmitter in a specific set of brain circuits. ADHD is present at birth. Depending which part of the brain these neurotransmitters are in will determine which symptoms a child with ADHD will demonstrate. (Silver, 2002) ADHD symptoms most often show up in early childhood. Resent diagnostic criteria indicate that ADHD is marked by behaviors that are long lasting and present for a minimum of six months, with the onset being before the age of seven.(CHADD,2010) A child with ADHD demonstrates the following three behaviors on varying levels: hyperactivity, easily distracted, and impulsiveness. (Silver, 2002) There are three main types of ADHD: ADHD Primary Inattentive Type, ADHD Primary Hyperactivity/Impulsive type, and ADHD Combined type. (CHADD,2010) To make the three types easier to follow, I have listed them in the category below:
ADHD Primary Inattentive Type :
- Fails to pay close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes.
- Does not appear to listen.
- Struggles to follow through with directions.
- Has difficulty with organization.
- Avoids or dislikes activities that require sustained mental effort.
- Is easily distracted.
- Is forgetful in daily activities.
- Fidgets with hands or feet and/or squirms in chair.
- Has difficulty remaining seated.
- Runs around and/or climbs excessively.
- Blurts out answers before questions have been asked or completed.
- Has difficulty waiting for his/her turn.
ADHD Combined Type:
Meets both inattentive and hyperactive ADHD criteria.
The child must exhibit difficulty in two areas of life such as: home, social settings, school, or work for teen children and adults to be diagnosed with ADHD. I am not a diagnostician, but as a parent it is sometimes helpful to know the criteria and symptoms of a condition that is suspected. My information primarly came from: www.ldonline.org/experts/silver, www.CHADD.org. , and my own information from dealing with and researching ADHD as a teacher and a parent.
This is a three part blog. Today I gave symptoms of ADHD. Tomorrow, I will discuss how ADHD can effect a child's literacy. .In part three, on Sunday, I will discuss instructional accommodations that often help children with ADHD in school. My blogs are meant to inform and elicit thought and conversation. As in any discussion if you suspect your loved one has ADHD please seek out sound medical advice. I hope this is helpful.