Below we’ve listed some frequently asked questions by ADHD parents.
WHAT IS ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental delay in the child’s ability to self-regulate. It is characterised by common symptoms in 3 main areas, inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD can also impact other skills, including executive function & managing emotions.
HOW IS ADHD DIAGNOSED?
There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. A comprehensive assessment by a trained health professional is necessary to establish a diagnosis. This assessment requires time and effort and should include a thorough clinical assessment of the individual’s academic, social, and emotional functioning and developmental skills. With appropriate data the health professional can determine a diagnosis if required, rule out other causes, and determine if there are any co-existing conditions.
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ADD & ADHD?
Many years ago, inattentive symptoms like having trouble listening or poor time management were diagnosed as "ADD." Hyperactive and impulsive symptoms were diagnosed as "ADHD."
WHAT IS EXECUTIVE FUNCTION?
Executive Function (EF) refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage our thoughts and behaviours. It allows us to think about short and long term consequences of our actions and to plan for those outcomes. It also allows us to make in the moment assessments of our actions and make necessary adjustments if those actions are not achieving the desired result.
WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS CAN OCCUR WITH ADHD?
Approximately 80 percent of people with ADHD are diagnosed with at least one other coexisting condition, most commonly, another neurodevelopmental disorder; e.g., a specific learning disorders (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, etc.), autism or tic disorder. Oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety and depression also frequently occur alongside ADHD.
CAN A CHILD HAVE ADHD AND NOT BE HYPERACTIVE?
Yes. Kids who have trouble focusing but are not overly fidgety or impulsive can have a more inattentive type ADHD. They tend to fly under the radar because they are less disruptive or problematic in their behaviours. Children who show inattentive symptoms are often diagnosed later in primary school when it becomes increasingly difficult for them to keep up with their peers.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ADHD?
Common ADHD Symptoms
Short attention span
Disorganization and difficulty prioritizing
Poor time management
Frequent mood swings
Inability to control anger or frustration
Trouble completing tasks
Difficulty awaiting turn
DOES ADHD CONTINUE INTO ADULTHOOD?
Yes. Approximately two-thirds of people who had ADHD symptoms as a child will continue to experience ADHD symptoms as an adult. Unfortunately many adults with ADHD — particularly inattentive symptoms — are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as children.