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ADHD and it's characteristics

ADHD is one of the most common problems that kids have with how their brains develop. Most of the time, it is first found in children, but it can last into adulthood. Children with ADHD may find it tough to pay attention. They also find it hard to stop acting on their impulse or being very active.

ADHD is the most common mental disorder among children. It happens more often in boys than in girls. Most of the time, it is seen in the first few years of school. It's noticed when a child starts having trouble paying attention in class or otherwise.

ADHD can't be 'stopped' or 'fixed' in any way. If it's spotted early, it can be dealt with and children can be taught to cope with difficulties. Good treatment and a good education plan can also help you cope with ADHD symptoms.

Causes of ADHD

So far, research has shown that ADHD could be caused by several things such as:

  • Less activity in the parts of the brain that control attention and activity level.

  • A divergence in the functioning of the brain

  • It could run in the family. Children with ADHD are likely to have parents, and/or a close family member, like a sibling, who has ADHD.

  • A significant head injury

  • Pre maturity

  • Exposure of the baby to alcohol or nicotine during pregnancy.

  • Environmental causes. For example, Lead in the body can change how a child grows and acts.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

A Psychological assessment is the best way to know if your child has ADHD. It will give you a diagnosis and clarity about whether your child has ADHD or not.

Some signs of ADHD are:

  • Inattention (not being able to keep focus, not paying attention)

  • Hyperactivity or restlessness (excess movement, running, jumping, fidgeting)

  • Impulsivity (hasty acts that occur at the moment without thought)

  • Make careless mistakes very often.

  • Have trouble waiting for their turn or self-control

  • Tantrums

  • Does not complete tasks/ activities.

  • Cannot focus on activities.

  • Does not follow the rules while playing with peers.

Diagnosis of ADHD

It takes several steps to figure out if a child has ADHD. ADHD can't be diagnosed with just one test.

If you think a child might have ADHD, the first thing you should do is talk to a professional in mental health for diagnosis.

How is ADHD diagnosed?

The guidelines in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)1 from the American Psychiatric Association help doctors figure out if an individual has ADHD. This standard helps make sure that people with ADHD are diagnosed and treated. Using the same standard in all communities can also help figure out how many kids have ADHD and what effects this condition has on social wellbeing.

DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD

People with ADHD have a persistent pattern of not paying attention and/or being too active or impulsive, which makes it hard for them to work or complete tasks.


Criteria: If six or more signs of not paying attention for kids (up to 16 years old), or five or more signs for teens (17 years and older) and adults. If the signs of not paying attention have been there for at least 6 months and aren't right for their age:

  • Often doesn't pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in school, at work, or with other activities.

  • Has trouble paying attention to tasks or games a lot of the time.

  • Often doesn't seem to hear what is being said to them.

  • Usually doesn't do what they're told and don't finish schoolwork, chores, or work duties (e.g., lose focus, side-tracked).

  • Has trouble getting things done and organized.

  • Avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort over a long time (such as schoolwork or homework).

  • Often finds it hard to focus.

  • Often forgets things in daily life.

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

Criteria: If six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children (up to 16 years old). Five or more symptoms for teens (17 years and older) and adults. If symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months in a way that is disruptive and not appropriate for the person's developmental level:

  • Often fidgets with their hands or feet, taps them, or moves around in the seat.

  • Often gets up from their seat when they should have stayed put.

  • Often runs around or climbs when it's not the right thing to do (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).

  • Not always able to play or do other fun things quietly.

  • Is often "on the go" and acts as if it were "driven by a motor."

  • Often talks too much.

  • Often answers before a question has been completed.

  • Does have a hard time waiting for their turn.

  • Interrupts or talks over other people a lot (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

Also, the following conditions must be met:

  • Several signs of not paying attention or being active and impulsive were present before the age of 12 years.

  • Several signs and symptoms show up in two or more places.

  • There is evidence that the symptoms interfere with or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work.

  • There are no other mental disorders that better explain the symptoms. Not everyone with schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder has these symptoms.

Based on the types of symptoms, ADHD can show up in three different ways:

  1. Combined Presentation: If enough inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms have been present for the last 6 months

  2. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: If symptoms of inattention but not hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for the last six months

  3. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: If enough symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not inattention, have been present for the last six months.

Because the symptoms can change over time, so can the way they are shown.

Diagnosing ADHD in Adults

ADHD can persist in adults. When it comes to adults and teens (17 years old or older), only 5 symptoms are needed to make a diagnosis of ADHD instead of the 6 symptoms that are needed for younger children. When a person is older, the symptoms might look different. For example, adults with hyperactivity may be very restless or make other people tired with all their activities.

Consult a Mental health practitioner, like a Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist for clarity about your diagnosis.

Get Help!

At Daffodil Health, we help kids with ADHD by giving them speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior therapy, and special education. Through our Home therapy program, we also show parents how to help their child from the comfort of their own home.

For more info:

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