" ADHD, a disorder beginning in childhood, characterized by a persistent inability to sit still, focus attention on specific tasks, and control impulses," contributed by Michael Woods to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders of childhood. Many children grow out of ADHD by adolescent or adult years, but many do not. Studies show ADHD in adulthood is more severe and may cause long-term effects.
Diagnosing ADHD is very difficult, because most children are inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive at least some of the time. When diagnosing there is no blood test, or written test to determine if ADHD is present. All there is are guidelines and an educated guess. The guidelines include, " A disturbance of at least six months during which at least eight of the following are present:.
1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
2. Has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so.
3. Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.
4. Has difficulty waiting turn in games or group situations.
5. Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed.
6. Has difficulty following through on instructions from others.
7. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
8. Often shifts from one uncompleted activity to another.
9. Has difficulty playing quietly.
10. Often talks excessively.
11. Often does not seem to listen to what is being said to him or her.
13. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities at school or at home (e.g. pencils).
14. Often engages in physically dangerous activities without considering possible.
consequences (not for thrill seeking purposes) e.g. Runs into the street without looking.
The above items are listed in descending order of discriminating power based on data from national field trial of the DSM-III-R criteria for Disruptive Behavior Disorders," contributed Sam& Michael Goldstein to Managing Attention Disorders in Children page11.