Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) & Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD appears as a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. To diagnose ADHD, several symptoms must be present (based on the DSM-5®).

ADHD Symptoms of Inattention: 

  • Makes careless mistakes/lacks attention to detail
  • Lacks sustained attention
  • Poor listener
  • Fails to follow through on tasks and instructions
  • Poor organization
  • Avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Loses things necessary for tasks/activities
  • Easily distracted (including unrelated thoughts)
  • Forgetful in daily activities

ADHD Symptoms of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity:

  • Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected
  • Excessive running/climbing or feelings of restlessness
  • Difficulty with quiet leisure activities
  • Is "on-the-go" or "driven by a motor"
  • Excessive talking
  • Blurts out answers
  • Difficulty waiting turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others

An evaluation and assessment of ADD/ADHD should be based on:

  • ADHD symptoms
  • Associated conditions and comorbidities
  • Impairment in daily activities:
  • At home
  • At school/workplace
  • In social settings
  • Family ADHD/psychiatric history
  • Past medical history
  • Patient and family understanding of ADHD and their beliefs
  • Potential barriers to management

Obtaining feedback from caregivers, teachers, friends,family members, and/or co-workers is essential to an effective ADHD assessment.When getting feedback, take into account the unpredictable situations that may occur in a given setting.

Consider these questions:

  • What symptoms have you or others observed?
  • How often do symptoms appear during the day?
  • Do you or others notice certain situations that provoke symptoms?
  • Do you or others notice a time of day when symptoms are more pronounced?

The following resources are provided to you as you pursue and progress through treatment: