Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

An Overview.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the term used to describe a condition that includes a number of symptoms including impulsiveness, difficulties concentrating on one task, and hyperactivity. ADHD is not a disease, and therefore, it cannot be “cured.”

With effective treatments and therapies, however, children and adults with ADHD can receive meaningful assistance and successfully integrate it into their daily lives.

ADHD, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Related Conditions.

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are related, though distinct conditions. Both are neurological disorders. ADD is often diagnosed if the child’s shows difficulties mainly with attention rather than overactivity. ADHD is defined by a consistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactive impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning in at least two settings (for example, at school and at home).
ADHD and ADD impact children and adults, boys and girls, and people of all backgrounds.

 

ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) 

Also known as PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) or Conduct Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) may be diagnosed when a child demonstrates an ongoing pattern of challenging behaviour such as argumentativeness, extreme irritability, and refusing to respond to requests or demands.

Common ADHD Symptoms & Behaviour.

 

Three types of ADHD

1. Predominantly inattentive type
2. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
3. Combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type

Most children who are diagnosed with ADHD display symptoms of the Combined category.

Though every person with ADHD is a unique individual with skills and challenges of their own, ADHD is defined by characteristics in three areas:

Hyperactivity

  • Squirming and/or fidgeting
  • Restless, such as leaving seat without permission
  • Talking too much
  • Moving quickly and forcefully
  • Impulsiveness
  • Controling or interrupting conversation
  • Have trouble with taking turns
  • Difficulty resisting temptation
  • Blurting out answers before the question is complete
  • Risk taking/little or no sense of danger

Inattention

  • Listening difficulties
  • Not following instructions
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Highly distractible
  • Day-dreaming
  • Forgetting or losing things
  • Not finishing tasks
  • Easily bored

Impulsiveness

  • Controlling or interrupting conversation
  • Having trouble with taking turns
  • Difficulty resisting temptation
  • Blurting out answers before the question is complete
  • Risk taking/little or no sense of danger

Testing & Treatment.

 

Testing and diagnosis is the first, crucial step in ensuring your child receives meaningful help and assistance from the very start. More information about the Oxford CBT ADHD assessment process is available on our blog
Though ADHD can be challenging for the whole family, the good news is that there are a large number of effective treatment options. These may include a combination of some or all of the following:

Exploring Your Child’s Individual Needs

  • Exploring your child’s triggers for anxiety or challenging behaviours
  • Exploring possible sensory sensitivities
  • Assessing your child’s attention span and adjusting tasks, as necessary
  • Developing routines, toys or other strategies that your child can use to cope with stressors
  • Learning to use your child’s qualities and strengths as positive reinforcement
  • Developing & improving self-confidence

Emotional & Social Education

    • Understanding feelings and how to express them
    • Learning coping strategies for worries, fears, anxiety and change
    • Improving social skills How to structure meaningful and pleasant routines
    • Learning to distinguish appropriate and expected behaviour from inappropriate behaviour
    • Learning how to cope with boundaries and rules in different environments
ADHD doesn’t need to chip away at your child’s self-confidence or your family harmony. With the right assistance, you all can learn the skills and strategies necessary to integrate ADHD into your child’s daily life and successes.