For years, many people considered ADD and ADHD distinct but similar disabilities. However, mental health professionals now recognize that these two disabilities are two of the three subtypes of ADHD:
These days, ADD is not an accurate diagnosis. Instead, people who many would consider having ADD instead have the Primarily Inattentive subtype of ADHD. These patients do not exhibit the hyperactivity that many people associate with ADD.
ADHD symptoms can vary widely depending on the age of the person, the type of ADHD, and other factors. However, the following symptoms of ADHD provide some general guidelines.
Lack of attention to detail at work or school
Short attention span, even for fun things like playing
Trouble listening, even when someone speaks directly to the patient
Difficulty organizing thoughts and tasks
Forgets to complete daily activities
Avoidance of tasks that require long bouts of concentration
Feeling or acting restless
Cannot play or relax quietly
Difficulty taking turns
Patients with Combination ADHD exhibit symptoms from both of these lists. Like with other mental health disorders, the symptoms must be severe enough to impact the person’s daily life. So, a child who is occasionally hyperactive would not qualify.
In total, children must show six of the DSM-5’s symptoms, while adults show five signs. Furthermore, the symptoms must remain present for at least six months. It’s important for parents to remember that these signs often look different in children.
Although children with ADHD may feel similar to their adult counterparts, the diagnosis can be trickier. Parents, teachers, and caretakers can look for certain signs to determine if a child need professional evaluation.
Make “obvious” mistakes in their schoolwork
Move from one toy to another quickly
Seem distant when adults talk to them
Resist any activity that takes too long, including sitting down to read
Lose everyday items constantly
Get up during class, even when they know they are not supposed to
Tap on the desk or fidget in school
Climb and run when it is not appropriate to do so
Seem like they have boundless energy
The Solution: Innovate FDA Cleared Tests
Objective data cuts through complex history and overlapping symptoms
Quick testing allows for low resource allocation
Brings available data in-clinic or remote
Mitigates age / sex bias in assessment
More sensitive to treatment response
Improves provider confidence & patient satisfaction
Although it may seem counterintuitive, stimulant drugs remain the most popular type of ADHD medication. The stimulants work quickly and help 70 to 80 percent of children reduce their symptoms.
Since 2003, professionals have used certain nonstimulant medications to treat patients with ADHD. While these drugs do not take immediate effect that way that stimulants do, they can last longer. Patients who do not respond well to stimulants often have better results with these medicines.
Many parents are understandably nervous to jump to medication when their children get diagnosed with ADHD. These families can try therapy and lifestyle changes.
With both children and adults, therapists help encourage positive behaviors and avoid disruptive ones. They may identify triggers, find ways to avoid these situations, and find tricks for dealing with negative feelings.
When children have ADHD, professionals may also include training for parents. In these sessions, parents learn to facilitate behavioral therapy and how to respond to difficult behaviors.
Adults and children with ADHD can benefits from these methods as well:
Create a daily routine to follow
Reduce distractions whenever possible
Eat nutritious foods and balanced meals
Get plenty of exercise
Sleep enough for one’s age