ADHD Signs and Symptoms

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or often abbreviated ADHD, is usually considered to be a neurobehavioral It affects about 3 – 5% of children with symptoms starting before the age of seven. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and impulsiveness, with or without a component of hyperactivity. ADHD occurs twice as commonly in boys as in girls. It is generally a chronic disorder with 10 to 40% of individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to meet diagnostic criteria in adulthood. Adolescents and adults with ADHD are likely to develop coping mechanisms to compensate for their impairment.

Methods of treatment usually involve medications, some behavior modifications, life-style changes, and counseling. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that stimulant medications and/or behavior therapy are appropriate and generally safe treatments for ADHD. Treatment of pre-school children is not recommended.

ADHD can also continue throughout adulthood.  It has a strong genetic component ADHD and its treatment has been considered controversial for some time now. The controversies have involved parents, teachers, policymakers, and the media, with opinions regarding ADHD that range from not believing it exists at all to believing there are genetic and physiological bases for the condition, and also include disagreement about the use of different types of medications in treatment.

Some of the most common symptoms:

Easily distracted, difficulty listening, fidgeting, climbing on things, jumping from one activity to another, tendency to interrup other peoples conversations.  Further symptoms include restlessness, unable to sit still, not finishing work, and hyperactivity to name a few.

Many people exhibit some of these behaviors but not to the point where they significantly interfere with a person’s work, relationships, or studies. ADHD may accompany other disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Hyperactivity is common among children with ADHD but tends to disappear during adulthood. However, over half of children with ADHD still have some symptoms of inattention throughout their lives.

Hyperactive and inattention behavior are not the only problems experienced by children with ADHD. ADHD exists alone in only about 1/3 of the children diagnosed with it. Many co-existing conditions require other courses of treatment and should be diagnosed separately instead of being grouped in the ADHD diagnosis. Some of the associated conditions are:

Bipolar disorder. As many as 25% of children with ADHD have bipolar disorder. Children with this combination may demonstrate more aggression and behavioral problems than those with ADHD alone. Although the reasons are not clear, it has long been observed that many children seem to out-grow ADHD. These individuals include those both treated and untreated. It is also known that many adolescents and adults develop coping skills as they mature.

Hyperactivity could also be primarily a genetic condition however other causes do have an effect. Some researchers believe that a large majority of ADHD cases arise from a combination of various genes.

Some studies have found that dietary elimination of artificial food coloring and preservatives provides a statistically significant benefit in children with ADHD. Other analysis suggest that sugar usually has no effect on nor does it exacerbate the symptoms of children diagnosed with ADHD.  High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup were not part of these studies.

Currently, there is no test make a diagnosis of ADHD.  It remains a clinical diagnosis. Methods of treatment often involve some combination of behavior modifications, counseling, life-style changes, and medication.


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