What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder that manifests as impairments in executive functioning. These impairments include excessive inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association, the incidence of ADHD in the United States is approximately 10% of school-aged children.
Typically, ADHD symptoms arise in early childhood. According to the DSM-5, several symptoms are required to be present before the age of 12. Many parents report excessive motor activity during the toddler years, but ADHD symptoms can be hard to distinguish from the impulsivity, inattentiveness and active behavior that is typical for kids under the age of four. In making the diagnosis, children should have six or more symptoms of the disorder present; adolescents 17 and older and adults should have at least five of the symptoms present. The DSM-5 lists three presentations of ADHD—Predominantly Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined.
The symptoms for each are summarized below.
ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation
- Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
- Has difficulty sustaining attention
- Does not appear to listen
- Struggles to follow through with instructions
- Has difficulty with organization
- Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Loses things
- Is easily distracted
- Is forgetful in daily activities
ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation
- Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair
- Has difficulty remaining seated
- Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults
- Difficulty engaging in activities quietly
- Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel inside as if they are driven by a motor
- Talks excessively
- Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
- Difficulty waiting or taking turns Interrupts or intrudes upon others
ADHD combined presentation
The individual meets the criteria for both inattention and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD presentations.
These symptoms can change over time, so children may fit different presentations as they get older.
If you think you or your child might have ADHD, call us at 918-492-2480 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an evaluation.