What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neurological disorder that begins in early childhood and is characterised by either significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the these. Those affected have a greatly reduced ability to maintain attention without being distracted, to control what they’re doing or saying (because of impulsivity) and/or to control the amount of physical activity appropriate to the situation (that is, they’re restless and fidgety).
- Although estimates vary, it is believed that in the UK 1.5% of the population have severe/combined ADHD, 3-5% have moderate/inattentive ADHD and 5-10% have mild ADHD not always recognised.
- ADHD is currently diagnosed 2-9 times more in boys than girls. Although the exact reason for this is not clear, it could be that boys tend to present with more overt signs of ADHD (e.g. hyperactivity) whereas girls present with more covert forms of ADHD (e.g. daydreaming, switching off etc.). As such, the ratio between boys and girls may be uneven because girls are not getting identified as much as boys (i.e. there is a referral bias as opposed to the fact that ADHD affects more boys than girls).
Examples of symptoms associated with inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness
- Makes Careless Mistakes
- Unable to give attention to detail
- Difficulty sustaining attention during activities
- Difficulty following instructions and completing tasks
- Difficulty with organisational skills
- Does not appear to be listening when spoken to directly
- Avoids tasks like homework that require sustained mental effort
- Forgetful in the course of daily activities.
- Runs around or excessively climbs over things.
- Cannot remain still or seated.
- Talks excessively
- Constantly on the go
- Talks excessively without response to social restraint.
- Blurting out answers before questions completed.
- Cannot Await their turn.
- Interrupts others