Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex mental health disorder that can affect your child’s behavior. Three main symptoms define ADHD including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Evaluating the child under several criteria is a must to make a diagnosis of ADHD. If you think that your child might have ADHD, you should first talk with a healthcare professional to find out if the symptoms fit the diagnosis. The health professional will ask you about the child’s behavior in different settings, like at home, school, or with friends and will also determine whether the child has another condition that can either explain the symptoms better, or that occurs alongside with ADHD. To be diagnosed with ADHD, a child must exhibit the following symptoms for at least six months.
The main signs of inattention are:
– Failure to pay close attention to details and being easily distracted.
– Making repeated, careless mistakes in schoolwork or with other activities.
– Being unable to pay attention to the task at hand or play activities
– Having difficulty listening when being spoken to directly.
– Inability to complete tasks.
– Having difficulty organizing tasks.
– Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
– Being unable to sit still when there is an expectation to remain seated.
– Often runs around or climb on objects at inappropriate times.
– Excessive talking
– Having difficulty to engage in quiet activities such as reading or playing a board game.
– Being unable to wait their turn. They may find it difficult or unbearable to wait their turn while playing a game or doing other activities.
– Interrupting conversations and activities of others.
– Interrupting others to answer a question before it’s been asked.
– Acting without thinking.
– Lacking sense of danger
There are three kinds (presentations) of ADHD which can be categorized depending on the types of symptoms:
• Combined Presentation: If there are enough symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity for the past 6 months.
• Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: If enough symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity or impulsivity, were present for the past six months.
• Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: If enough symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity but not inattention were present for the past six months.
Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.