Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is also called ADHD. It is a development disorder that often affects children.

When ADHD continues into Adulthood, it becomes known as Adult Attention-Deficit Disorder or ADD.

ADHD is diagnosed in about 5% of children and is more likely to be diagnosed in boys than girls. This may be often misdiagnosed in both boys and girls.

But, the real condition may affect more than double this number.

ADHD is looked at as affecting two major behavioral issues in children:  Attention and Hyperactivity.

Types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

There are 3 main subtypes of ADHD.

1.) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive

–  Greater than 6 symptoms would fall under the Hyperactive-Impulsive
–  Less than 6 symptoms are seen in Impulsive

2.) Predominantly Inattentive

–  Greater than 6 symptoms would fall under the Impulsive
–  Less than 6 symptoms are seen in Hyperactive-Impulsive
–  This classification finds children who are less likely to act out.
–  They may be sitting quietly, but not paying attention
–  These children are often overlooked.

3.)  Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive

–  Has greater than 6 symptoms in both areas.
–  Most children with this diagnosis are found in this classification.

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

–  Symptoms are be divided into two areas:  Hyperactive-Impulsive or Inattentive
–  Symptoms can be the most difficult part of this diagnosis.
–  Children, by nature, will have a symptom or two during the entire day.
–  One or two symptoms, maybe more, should be viewed as nothing more than a normal childhood.
–  It’s when many symptoms are present on a daily basis and are long term.

Symptoms of Inattentive Category

–  Is easily distracted
–  Misses details
–  Forget things
–  Quickly switch activities
–  Becomes easily bored
–  Easily becomes angry
–  Difficulty focusing attention
–  Difficulty Organizing and/or finishing a task
–  Often loses or misplaces items
–  Doesn’t listen when spoken too
–  Daydreams often
–  Easily becomes confused
–  Struggles to follow simple instructions

Symptoms for Hyperactive-Impulsive Category

–  Squirms or fidgets constantly
–  Talks nonstop
–  Runs around
–  Plays with everything in sight
–  Difficulty sitting during meals, school, and activities.
–  Constantly in motion
–  Difficulty doing things/activities that require quietness or soft voices
–  Very impatient
–  Difficulty waiting for their turn
–  Says inappropriate comments
–  Acts without an understanding of consequences

Causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

1.)  Genetics is the leading cause of ADHD at this time.

–  Often this disorder could be seen in family, parents, and grandparents.
–  Hyperactivity may be genetic as well as family or environmental issues.
–  In some cases, genetics are not the only cause.

2.)  Studies are looking into potential environmental causes of ADHD including:

–  Drug abuse by parents
–  Smoking
–  Hypoxia (oxygen loss) during pregnancy
–  Complications during pregnancy
–  Childbirth complications
–  and others.

Genetics is believed to be a factor in three out of every four cases.

But often, we rely too much on genetics rather than looking at the environment.

Foster Children often have a higher number of symptoms related to ADHD.

Children who have been emotionally or physically abused may develop ADHD like symptoms.

Children involved in or around severe violence may also develop symptoms.

Increased Social Difficulties with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

–  Teachers and parents may not know what to do in certain situations where ADHD symptoms might be more present or noticeable.
–  Often large consequences, learning disabilities, loneliness, and overall trouble follow those who suffer from ADHD.
–  School years and developmental years can be very difficult for children having ADHD.
–  They often feel mistrusted and misunderstood.
–  This could develop into relationship strains between teachers, siblings, parents and more.
–  Increased risks for Alcohol abuse and drug abuse happen as children with ADHD issues grow older.

–  Attempts to mask the symptoms or to be socially accepted lead to experimenting with these drugs.

Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

–  Psychiatric assessment is essential for diagnosis.

–  Using the DSM-IV with a medical professional to account for symptoms and duration of symptoms.


Management is a treatment method that offers an open discussion about the symptoms and expectations.

A strategy is set forth to offer a range of options and possibilities that medication alone may not help.


There is a very good chance that this form of management will be beneficial for most children.

It is typically for those who have mild symptoms and/or for children who are first diagnosed at a young age.

This area of management includes:

–  Behavior Therapy
–  Psycho-Social Education
–  Cognitive Therapy
–  Interpersonal therapy
–  Parent and family therapy/training  (For parents with children with ADHD)

Treatment with Medications

Medication treatment is a necessary part of the overall treatment and management of ADHD.


Psychostimulant drugs:

Methylphenidate  (Ritalin, Concerta)
Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine  (Adderall)
Dexmethylphenidate  (Focalin)
Dextroamphetamin  (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
Lisdexamfetamine  (Vyvanse)

Non-Psychostimulant drug:

Atomexetine  (Strattera)