Diagnosis is usually by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or a paediatrician while other professionals should be consulted as evidence is collected
Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity is a conditon which affects the area of the brain related to concentration, attention and impulses. There seems to be a genetic link and in some cases an environmental link. Campared to most children of the same ages, sex, intelligence and with behaviours displayed in more than one setting, the child with ADHD has a range of 'problem' behaviours including:
✓ inattentiveness - appears to lack concentration, can frequently make mistakes by not paying attention to detail
✓ impulsiveness - not thinking before saying or doing something, frequently interrupts others, calls out answers
✓ hyperactivity - unable to control the amount of physical activity which is appropriate to a situation, have difficulty waiting their turn, unable to talk or play quietly, cannot sit still for long
✓ poor learning skill - this sometimes masks a good IQ, handwriting problems
✓ poor socialising and communication skills
✓ no awareness of danger
Most children with ADHD are aware of their behaviour problems but cannot seem to control them.
In the UK, experts believe that about 3-7% of children have ADHD and it is usually obvious around the age of 5, in the majority of cases it carries on into adulthood although adults may find it easier to manage their behaviours.
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