ADHD Testing

ADHD In Children

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a chronic condition that affects children, with symptoms often continuing into adulthood. Common symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. ADHD affects the behavior of children both at home and in school. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately eleven percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD. Boys are more commonly diagnosed with this condition than girls. Children with ADHD often struggle in school, have poor self-esteem and may be at an increased risk for drug and alcohol abuse as they get older. With treatment, however, most people with ADHD can lead successful and productive lives.


Symptoms Of ADHD

ADHD is classified by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. ADHD maybe difficult to diagnose at an early age, as symptoms of the condition are often typical behaviors for children under the age of six. These symptoms may be classified by type and may include the following behaviors:


Inattention

Easily distracted
Makes careless mistakes
Difficulty paying attention
Does not follow instructions properly
Forgetfulness
Frequently misplaces things
Does not listen when spoken to
Fails to finish tasks such as school work or other chores

Hyperactivity And Impulsiveness

Constantly fidgeting and squirming
Feeling restless
Runs or climbs in inappropriate situations
Constantly talking
Has difficulty playing quietly
Interrupts others

ADHD symptoms may vary in boys and girls. Boys may show more symptoms of hyperactive behavior and girls may tend to show signs of inattentiveness.

 

Causes Of ADHD

The exact cause of ADHD is not known, however research has indicated that one of the main causes may be genetic. A child is more likely to have ADHD if a parent or sibling also has a mental health disorder. Other possible causes of ADHD may include:

Exposure to environmental toxins
Smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy
Certain brain injuries
Premature birth


Children with other psychological or developmental problems such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder or depression may be more likely than other children to have ADHD.

 

Diagnosis Of ADHD

In many cases, in addition to a parent, a teacher may notice symptoms of ADHD in a child if they have trouble concentrating or misbehave in school. If ADHD is suspected, the child is first referred to a pediatrician who will perform a full physical evaluation and rule out any other medical conditions. A mental health specialist, such as a psychologist, is often consulted for a full evaluation of the child. There is no specific test for ADHD but the specialist will gather information about the child, interview the parents, and the child individually and possibly the child’s teachers and other caregivers. In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, the child must also exhibit at least six of the symptoms listed for either inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulsiveness. If the child meets the criteria for ADHD, he or she will be diagnosed with the disorder.

 

Treatment Of ADHD

Once a child has received a diagnosis of ADHD, a treatment plan can be created. Treatment may vary depending on the child, and is often jointly decided upon by the parents, the child’s doctor and a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatment for ADHD usually includes therapy, medication or a combination of both.

Medication

For many children, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. Common ADHD medications include stimulant drugs such as ritalin or concerta, that help to balance the levels of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. It is important, however, to keep in mind that medications do not cure ADHD, they help to control the symptoms for as long as they are taken.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy aims to teach children how to manage their own behavior. It may also help children with organization,completing schoolwork and tasks, or working through difficult emotions. Parents and teachers may also be given strategies for controlling behavior through rewards systems.

In some cases, family therapy may be effective in helping families that have a child with ADHD. Successful treatment for ADHD usually involves a partnership between a child’s parents, teachers and medical provider.

Symptoms of ADHD may subside as children get older, but many people also suffer into adulthood. It is important for children to see their doctors on a regular basis to monitor medication levels, and continue any other effective treatment methods, if they suffer from ADHD.


Adult ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is chronic disorder that includes symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. ADHD is commonly diagnosed in young children, however, many people continue to suffer from this condition as adults. Adult ADHD is typically more subtle and harder to diagnose, but affects many adults that were diagnosed as children. Most adults with ADHD had ADHD as children, even if it was never diagnosed. Some people with ADHD have fewer symptoms as they get older, while others continue to have significant symptoms as adults.

Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and difficulty at work. Mood swings, angry outbursts and
irritability may cause troubled relationships. Impulsive behavior may cause problems with family and personal life. Many adults with ADHD also suffer from other mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.

Symptoms Of Adult ADHD
Many adults that seek treatment for depression or anxiety may actually suffer from adult ADHD. Symptoms of adult ADHD are similar to those in children, only they may be more subtle. Symptoms of adult ADHD may include:

Easily distracted
Restlessness
Unstable relationships
Trouble relaxing
Trouble organizing
Trouble concentrating
Forgetfulness
Bouts of anger
Mood swings
Impulsiveness


Causes Of Adult ADHD

Adults with ADHD often suffered from ADHD as a child and in some cases, it was never diagnosed. As with ADHD in children, the exact cause is not known, however research has indicated that one of the main causes may be genetic. Other possible causes of ADHD may include:

Exposure to environmental toxins
Smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy
Certain brain injuries
Premature birth


Diagnosis Of Adult ADHD

In cases where ADHD was not already diagnosed as a child, it can be more challenging to identify ADHD, as symptoms in adults may be vague. Initially a doctor will perform a complete physical examination to rule out any other medical conditions. Other conditions including some mental health disorders or alcohol and drug abuse can cause similar symptoms to ADHD. A doctor will conduct an interview with the patient and carefully evaluate all symptoms as well as how they impact the individual’s current life, job performance and relationships with friends and family. Once ADHD has been diagnosed, a treatment plan will be established.

 

Treatment Of Adult ADHD

Treatment for ADHD usually includes therapy, medication or a combination of both.


Medication

For many adults, ADHD medications can reduce inattention and impulsiveness and improve their ability to focus. Common ADHD medications include stimulant drugs such as ritalin or concerta, that help to balance the levels of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Other ADHD medications may include atomoxetine or antidepressants, which work slower than stimulant drugs but are an option for those individuals who cannot take stimulants because of other health reasons.

Psychological Therapy

Psychological therapy aims to help adults with ADHD manage their behavior. Therapy may be effective in helping individuals improve their time management and organizational skills and improve their self-esteem. Often, therapy also helps adults with ADHD learn ways to improve relationships with family and friends.

 

Adults with ADHD may also benefit from making lifestyle adjustments, such as keeping to a consistent routine, making a list of tasks, and using a planner or appointment book to help manage their activities and condition.

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