What is ADHD?
Children/adults with ADHD may or may not have problems learning depending on the severity of their symptoms. ADHD, Inattentive Type typically describes difficulties focusing and sustaining attention, completing work, and organizing thoughts and personal space. Attention problems can include under and over-attention, suggesting that children/adults, for example, who get totally absorbed for hours and cannot be pulled away from what they are doing, are also displaying attention problems.
ADHD, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type describes typically overly active children/adults who sometimes cannot sit down long enough to absorb classroom material and understand spoken language. ADHD-Combined Type reflects characteristics of Inattentive and Impulsive Types.
Signs of ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD-Inattentive Type include difficulties focusing and sustaining attention, being easily distracted, having trouble starting and completing tasks, moving from one activity to another, forgetfulness, and trouble attended to visual detail.
Children/adults who are more hyperactive and impulsive can display impatience, have trouble waiting their turn or standing on line, inhibiting their actions, and thinking through the consequences of their actions. They often have trouble sitting still or are fidgety. These symptoms are typically associated with ADHD-Hyperactive/Impulsive Type but can also occur in combination with symptoms associated with inattentiveness, which often referred to as ADHD-Combined.
What types of treatments are available?
An inattentive child works better with a hands-on approach to learning, structure, limit setting, and accommodations such as frequent breaks and the opportunity for physical movement. In some instances medication may be considered, but some parents view it as a last resort or will not consider it at all.
Adults can benefit from these same approaches and sometimes work with a coach to help with organization and time management. Psychotherapy for children/adults can help with the building of self-control and to discover what emotions may be fueling ADHD-like symptoms.