It has been estimated that 3 percent to 5 percent of school-aged children suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, according to the Partners Resource Network 4. ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder and not all people with ADHD share the same symptoms. ADHD has three distinct subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and a combination of the two. The predominantly inattentive type of ADHD is often referred to as ADD. As a mental disorder, ADHD is diagnosed by the guidelines presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV.
Causes of ADHD
It is not clear what causes ADHD, although the disorder appears to run in families, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics 2. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy have also been linked to the risk of a child being diagnosed with ADHD later on, reports MyADHD.com. Certain environmental toxic substances, such as lead, have also been linked to ADHD.
Inattentive ADHD Diagnosis
About ADD Symptoms in Children
To be diagnosed with predominantly inattentive ADHD a person must exhibit six out of nine specific behaviors, according to the DSM-IV. These symptoms must have lasted a minimum of six months. At least some of the symptoms must have been present before the person turned 7 and they must have manifested in at least two settings such as home and school. There must be clear evidence that a person’s symptoms are significantly affecting his performance at work, school, or social settings.
- To be diagnosed with predominantly inattentive ADHD a person must exhibit six out of nine specific behaviors, according to the DSM-IV.
- At least some of the symptoms must have been present before the person turned 7 and they must have manifested in at least two settings such as home and school.
ADD Symptoms at School and Work
A person with ADD does not typically do well at school or work. His work is often messy and full of careless mistakes. Timing is difficult for an ADD patient. He constantly underestimates how long it takes for him to finish a task. Frequently, work has been left until the last minute to finish and then put together in a rush. Many jobs never get finished and the person with ADD constantly starts a new task before finishing the old ones. Because of this, an adult with ADD may lose his job and child with ADD may be punished for leaving his homework at home.
- A person with ADD does not typically do well at school or work.
- Many jobs never get finished and the person with ADD constantly starts a new task before finishing the old ones.
ADD Symptoms in Social Settings
Adult ADD Symptoms in Women
ADD patients do not usually have many friends. This might be because they appear inattentive and fail to listen to other people. When having a conversation, a person with ADD shifts from one topic to another and frequently forgets when and where she was supposed to meet someone. A child with ADD may not want to follow the rules of a game and may fail to wait for her turn in games or conversation. As a result, both the child herself and her classmates may report that she is not well liked.
- ADD patients do not usually have many friends.
- A child with ADD may not want to follow the rules of a game and may fail to wait for her turn in games or conversation.
ADD Symptoms Related to Thinking and Memory
ADD also affects the way a person thinks and remembers. As time passes, an ADD patient may learn to avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort and tell himself that he is not that smart. He may set the bar low and lose interest in many activities. Not surprisingly, it has been reported that the risk for depression is three times higher in ADHD children than in healthy children, says Dr. David Rabiner, an associate research professor at Duke University, in HelpForADD.com 1. A person with ADD may forget where he put his briefcase, when his daughter’s birthday is and where he parked his car. He is easily distracted by things that a healthy person would not even notice. The sound of a car driving by might make a child with ADD forget what he was doing.
- ADD also affects the way a person thinks and remembers.
- As time passes, an ADD patient may learn to avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort and tell himself that he is not that smart.
About ADD Symptoms in Children
Adult ADD Symptoms in Women
Signs of ADHD in 6 Year Olds
ADHD & a Low Sex Drive
Children 5-6 ADHD Symptoms in Kindergarten
Autism Symptoms in an 8-Year-Old Child
OCD Symptoms in Toddlers
ADD Symptoms in Teenagers
Signs of Autism in a Three-Year-Old
5-HTP for ADHD
- Help for ADD: ADHD/ADD and Depression
- My ADHD: Causes of ADHD
- “Pediatrics”; Clinical practice guidelinest; American Academy of Pediatrics; Vol. 105, 2000.
- MSU.edu: DSM-IV (Text Revision) Definition Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- CHADD. About ADHD-Overview.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). Symptoms and diagnosis of ADHD. Updated September 21, 2020.
- America's Children and the Environment. Neurodevelopmental disorders. Updated October, 2015.
- Canadian Mental Health Association. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults.
- Schachar R. Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): recent updates and future prospects. Curr Dev Disord Rep. 2014;1(1):41-49. doi:10.1007/s40474-013-0004-0
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is ADHD? Updated October 23, 2020.
- Wolraich ML, Hagan JF, Allan C, et al. Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2019;144(4):e20192528. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-2528
- Cleveland Clinic. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Mangement and treatment.
- Advokat C, Scheithauer M. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulant medications as cognitive enhancers. Front Neurosci. 2013;7. doi:10.3389/fnins.2013.00082
- CITE Yale School of Medicine. Guanfacine for the treatment of ADHD.
- Loo SK, Bilder RM, Cho AL, et al. Effects of d-methylphenidate, guanfacine, and their combination on electroencephalogram resting state spectral power in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016 Aug;55(8):674-682.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2016.04.020
- Healthy Children.org. Common ADHD medications & treatments for children. Sept 27, 2019.
Marie Cheour had her first article published in 1995, and she has since published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed publications such as "Nature" and "Nature Neuroscience." She has worked as a college professor in Europe and in the United States. Cheour has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Helsinki.