TYPES OF ADHD
There are currently three recognized types of ADHD – inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined. There are significant differences in the diagnosis and treatments of these three iterations of the disorder.
Inattentive ADHD is what was formerly known as ADD, or attention deficit disorder. However, in May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association released the DSM-5, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. This new edition to the DSM eliminated the classification of ADD and replaced it with inattentive ADHD. Children with inattentive ADHD are unable to pay attention but are not impulsive or hyperactive.
Hyperactive/impulsive ADHD is what people have always thought of when they heard ADHD. Children with this form of ADHD do not demonstrate the inability to remain attentive. Rather, they are characteristically impulsive and hyperactive.
Children with combined ADHD exhibit symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
ADHD symptoms vary from individual to individual, but possible signs include:
- Difficulty with organization
- Inability to stick to a singular activity or task
- Losing items required to complete an activity such as glue or pens
- Making careless errors or missing details in school work
- An apparent lack of attention or listening skills – children may be incapable of completing a task, even if they understood the parameters
- Avoidance of any tasks which require thinking or concentration
- They may fail to complete chores or schoolwork because they are difficult to accomplish, not because they do not understand what is being asked or because they are rebelling against authority
- Fidgeting feet or hands and/or squirming in their seat
- Being distracted easily and forgetful in daily activities
- The inability to pay attention to tasks or maintain an active listening position
- Being unable to remain seated for significant periods or play quietly, or always being on the move
- Being very talkative and unable to wait his or her turn, such as interrupting conversations or games
- Active impulsively or being unable to resist temptation
ADHD RISK FACTORS: UNCOVERING THE TRUTH
There are many untruths surrounding the causes of ADHD in both children and adults. First, let’s take a look at what does not cause ADHD.
The following have been proven through scientific research to not cause ADHD:
- Poor parenting
- Playing video games
- Watching television
- Consuming an excess of sugar
- Artificial food dyes and preservatives
Here is the truth about ADHD risk factors:
- If a mother or father has ADHD, his or her children are more likely to have the neurobehavioral disorder
- This connection exists within the DRD4 gene which affects your brain’s dopamine receptors
- According to the CDC, the most significant environmental factors which increase the risk of ADHD are prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy
- Other environmental factors such as exposure to neurotoxic chemicals like organophosphate pesticides and lead also affect children’s neurodevelopment negatively
ADHD DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
To be diagnosed with ADHD, a single test will not suffice. A doctor will assess the symptoms of you or your child over the course of six months and then complete a physical exam to assess health. With a diagnosis, someone suffering from ADHD can receive medication, behavioral therapies like talk therapy or behavioral therapy, or both therapy and medication.