What is ADHD? Definitions and Details


What is ADHD? Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) appears in 11–15% of school-age children. Over 75% of kids impacted have continued symptoms in adulthood. ADHD is a brain-based condition. It looks and feels like inappropriate levels of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It’s also common to have low organization skills and emotional management.


CHADD says it best: “Individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life. However, without identification and proper treatment, ADHD may have serious consequences, including school failure, family stress and disruption, depression, problems with relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, accidental injuries and job failure.” 


Causes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder


Although exact causes are unknown, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is highly genetic. It can also result from exposure to environmental toxins, poor pre-natal care and brain injury. Typically, symptoms show up in early childhood. Diagnosis occurs most often at age 7, although it might not get diagnosed until later – even into adulthood.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms can be hard to tell apart from other childhood disorders or typical behaviors. Many parents notice ongoing disorganization, not following directions, and excessive talking. A low tolerance for frustration is also common. 

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ADHD is NOT One-Size-Fits-All


There are three ‘types’ of ADHD—Predominantly Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined Type. ADHD can seriously impact your child’s academic experience, and management of this disorder is crucial.


There is no specific test to diagnose this condition. To establish a diagnosis, a comprehensive evaluation rules out other causes and determines the possible presence of co-existing conditions. Clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, neurologists, psychiatrists and pediatricians can all play a role in diagnosis.


How to Treat 


Early identification and treatment are key to long-term success. Depending on your child’s age and diagnosis, different treatment options are available. Behavior therapy is one option. This includes parent training, behavior management training, and/or teacher training. Medication, both stimulant and non-stimulant, may be helpful as well. Many parents feel that a combination of the two gets the best results. 


Learn more about what strategies can help your unique child. Use the Supports Selector from Exception-ALLY. Communicate your child’s needs to their teachers using personalized guidance from your plan. Log-in today.





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