ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), characterized by the combination of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, to the degree that it impairs daily functioning and learning, is categorized into 3 types:
- Predominantly Inattentive form (previously known also as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder),
- Predominantly Hyperactive form (previously known as ADHD) and
- Combined form (most common in 80% of cases)
The features must be present for more than 6 months, across different environments and exist prior to the age of 7 years. Importantly though, some are not recognized till they enter school, which often means apparent manifestation beyond age 7, sometimes as late as 10 years of age.
Features commonly seen
Behaviours suggestive of inattention include:
- Missing details and carelessness
- Inability to sustain attention for an age-appropriate task
- Does not follow through with instructions
- Poor self-organization
- Easily distracted and takes a long time to complete a task
- Forgetful and loses things easily
Behaviours suggestive of hyperactivity/impulsivity include:
- Fidgety when seated or asked to stand still
- Leaves seat or moves around class inappropriately
- Moves from one activity to another
- Talks very fast and continuously
- Interrupts and not able to wait for his turn
- Does things without thinking, though able to distinguish later right from wrong
If most of the features are present, it is important to seek consultation with a developmental doctor
early for intervention for better outcome.
Are there other possibilities if not all the features are present?
When the profile does not entirely fit the diagnosis, other possibilities need to be explored. These
will be evaluated by the doctor when you seek consult.
- Immaturity and delayed development
- Learning disabilities such as dyslexia
- Anxiety, Depression or other psychiatric disorders
- Low motivation or boredom