ADHD involves inattention (short attention span and being easily distracted), hyperactivity (being overly active) and impulsive behavior (doing things without considering the consequences). Some people with ADHD suffer from all three of these problems, while others only have inattention or hyperactivity.
Symptoms of ADHD include:
- Failing to pay close attention to details
- Making careless mistakes
- Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks
- Not seeming to listen when spoken to directly
- Often losing things
- Being forgetful
- Being disorganized
- Being overly active
- Often interrupting others
- Having trouble waiting for one’s turn
When hyperactivity is not present, ADHD is less obvious. ADHD may be suggested by poor grades or poor work performance due to poor focus and disorganization, being unpopular with peers due to failing to recognize social cues, such as a peer being bothered by one’s behavior, and poor self-esteem due to peer rejection.
Many people merely have symptoms of ADHD, as opposed to a medical condition that requires medication to improve symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you or your child receive a thorough examination by a well-qualified professional to determine the extent to which ADHD is present and whether or not medication is necessary.
A careful assessment of ADHD requires in-depth clinical interviews, testing, and gathering information from parents and teachers. We then examine the “big picture” and determine what factors are creating or contributing to the symptoms of ADHD. Some contributing factors may include learning disabilities, intellectual limitations, anxiety or depression, parenting style, and academic or work environment.
If a diagnosis of ADHD is warranted, accommodations may be made at school (including college), such as having your child sit in the front of the class, extending time for tests, and providing a testing environment with fewer distractions. We can also help individuals with ADHD create detailed, routine schedules and systematic ways to prepare for sleep and the next day of work or school.