ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)  
   
ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)

Definition of ADHD 

It is a developmental disorder, recognized by significant symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity.


Inattention
  1. Fails to give close attention to details 
  2. Careless mistakes 
  3. Difficultly sustaining attention & activities 
  4. Often doesn’t listen when spoken to directly 
  5. No follow-through & fails to finish school work
  6. Chores or duties 
  7. Avoids-/dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort 
  8. Can’t organize 
  9. Loses important items 
  10. Easily distractible 
  11. Forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity
  1. Squirms & fidgets
  2. Can’t stay seated 
  3. Runs/climbs excessively 
  4. Can’t play/work quietly 
  5. On the go all the time 
  6. Talks excessively

Impulsivity 
  1. Blurts out answers 
  2. Can’t wait for turns 
  3. Intrudes/Interrupts others

ADHD clinical subtypes 
  1. Predominantly inattentive: Children with this type of ADHD are easily distracted. They are not excessively hyperactive or impulsive in behaviour. 
  2. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive: These children are extremely hyperactive and impulsive, but are not highly inattentive. This condition is often seen in younger children.
  3. Combined type: Most patients will come in this group. In this type, all three classical signs of the disorder is present.

Diagnosis and Management

If you suspect that your child suffers from some of the symptoms described above, he/she may require an assessment from a psychiatrist prior to diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Diagnosis is primarily done with the help of a detailed history taking, evaluation of the child, ruling out other medical/mental health conditions that may mimic ADHD and also sometimes with the help of objective evaluations using psychometric tests and attention tests.

Once diagnosed, options of treatment with behavioural therapy, family therapy and medication management are discussed and depending on the available form of treatments, decisions will be made to either start medications which may be the stimulant type such as Ritalin/ Concerta/ Addreall or the non stimulant type, such as Strattera. In a lot of cases of ADHD behavioural therapy can also provide significant improvement in the symptoms and will help the child, parents and the school to deal with the academic and behavioural problems more effectively.
 
   
 
   
 
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