Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is also sometimes referred to by it’s older designation, “Attention Deficit Disorder,” commonly referred to as ADD. While not curable, ADHD is highly treatable, and one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. There are almost 6.5 million children in the United States diagnosed with some form of ADHD.
The three common types of ADHD are inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined (both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive). Inattentiveness in children presents at early ages, and is marked by a seeming lack of ability to focus on a task. Hyperactive impulsivity is marked by an inability to self regulate behavior appropriate for your child’s age group. Combined ADHD is both of these symptom sets together.
All children have trouble focusing from time to time, and an occasional lack of restraint or ability to sit still is to be expected from all age groups and genders. Children with ADHD have exacerbated symptoms that prevent them from being able to function normally in school and at home. With each set of symptoms, a number of criteria must be met to determine if your child is within normal behavioral and cognitive markers for his or her age group.
Symptoms of ADHD can range from mild to severe, and these symptoms can negatively impact a child’s confidence in school or at play. Symptoms of ADHD are more pronounced in unstructured environments, such as recess on the playground, but they do spill over into the classroom setting and can affect your child’s performance in school. If you suspect that your child meets some of the criteria for ADHD, please fill out our NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale, print it out, and bring it with you to your child’s appointment.