What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder meaning and ADHD symptoms

What is ADHD? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder meaning and ADHD symptoms

What are ADHD symptoms? What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as Hyperkinetic Disorder, is a mental disorder that impacts the ability of people to focus, sit still, pay attention, and function. It is the most common disorder affecting children. Parents and teachers often mistakenly diagnose ADHD without consulting a mental healthcare professional. Your child can manage ADHD with proper treatment.


A definitive ADHD test is not available to diagnose a patient. The best way to diagnose ADHD is to observe the symptoms over time. ADHD is not understood. ADHD symptoms can begin before the age 12,, with symptoms starting as early as 3 years old. ADHD symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. They can even persist into adulthood. ADHD is more common in males than it is in females, with symptoms that manifest differently.

There are three subtypes of ADHD; Inattentive, Hyperactive-impulsive, and Combined.
Inattentive means someone has problems maintaining focus or are easily distracted and does not include Hyperactivity-impulsive.

Hyperactive-impulsive means someone has hyperactive and impulsive, but does not necessarily inattentiveness.

Combined means someone has a combination of both Inattentive and hyperactivity-impulsive.

Your child’s mental health professional will tell you how severe the disorder is. This will allow you to determine the best treatment for your child.

ADHD treatment can include therapy, behavior skills, and medication. ADHD medication side effects such as decreased appetite, weight loss and headaches, insomnia, weight gain, and high blood pressure can lead parents to consider behavioral and therapy methods first. To determine the best course of action, parents should consult with medical professionals and behavior specialists. Different ADHD treatment methods will not work for every child.

The ADHD DSM 5 criteria requires the following to be diagnosed.

For Inattention Six or more symptoms of inattention in children under 6, five for adolescents and older, and six or more in adults who have had symptoms of inattention at least 6 months.

For Hyperactivity-impulsive six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults with symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity having been present for at least 6 months and are disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level

Additionally, the following conditions must also be met:
Several inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were present before age 12

Multiple symptoms may be present in more than one setting (e.g. at home, school, or work; with family members; or in other activities )
It is clear that symptoms can interfere with or decrease the quality of social, school or work functioning
These symptoms are not caused by schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders and cannot be explained better by any other mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder or Dissociative Disorder.
The presentation of symptoms can also change as symptoms change.

There are many common misconceptions about ADHD. ADHD people are not lazy. ADHD can make it seem quite the opposite. Their ADHD can make it difficult to stay on task, even though they are aware of the things that need to be done. ADHD doesn’t make someone dumb. ADHD people find creative ways to adapt and become more productive as they age. ADHD doesn’t mean that they will always have problems. Many children grow out of ADHD.

You can also find additional videos on ADHD and other behavioral issues at the Smarter Parenting website.

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