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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) inhibits the ability to focus and control impulses. People with ADHD may also be overly active. Many call this condition attention deficit disorder, or ADD.

Common ADHD symptoms include the following:

  • Lots of daydreaming
  • Many instances of forgetting or losing things
  • Talking too much
  • Unnecessary or sloppy mistakes
  • Difficulty resisting temptation or holding back
  • Trouble with taking turns and getting along with others

ADHD: what you should know

If your child has trouble focusing and doesn’t always think twice before acting, it doesn’t mean he or she has ADHD; however, when your child’s behavior doesn’t change with age and it causes problems in school, home or with friends, there could be a problem.

There are three kinds of ADHD:

  • Predominantly inattentive presentation: You have difficulty with organization or finishing tasks, paying attention to details or following instructions.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation: It’s hard for you to sit still, listen to others and wait for turns.
  • Combined presentation: You have symptoms of the other two types of ADHD.

While the causes of ADHD are unknown, there is plenty of ongoing research into its origins. Recent research indicates a genetic connection.

How can I get help if I suspect ADHD in my child or myself?

If you are concerned about your child, a good first step is to talk to your pediatrician. The diagnostic process will involve several steps that may include the following:

  • Hearing and vision tests to rule out other conditions
  • A checklist for rating ADHD symptoms
  • Obtaining a history from not only the patient but parents and teachers as well if applicable

If your pediatrician thinks it’s necessary, he or she may refer your child to a mental health professional for further testing.