What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children, according to the CDC.
Although it is typically diagnosed in childhood, it can carry over into or be diagnosed in adulthood. It can be treated through medication and occupational and behavioral therapies, however, if untreated, ADHD can impact a person’s ability to perform in school, at home, and/or at work.
Symptoms to keep an eye out for include but are not limited to:
- Talking too much
- Squirming or fidgeting
- Taking careless risks or making careless mistakes
- Forgetting things a lot
- Losing things often
- Daydreaming or spacing out a lot
There are three types of ADHD someone can be diagnosed with based on what symptoms they experience most often. The three types are:
- Predominantly Inattentive: This person has difficulty finishing tasks or gets distracted easily.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive: This person finds it difficult to sit still and may be found talking a lot or constantly fidgeting.
- Combined: This person has an equal number of symptoms from the above two types.
If you are concerned that you or your child might have ADHD, speak with your primary care doctor. They can refer you to a specialist to speak with; they can perform some tests to rule out other possibilities.
What do I do after diagnosis?
If you or your child are diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor may prescribe medication and/or therapies. There are different types of medication that can be prescribed and your doctor would work with you to find the best one for you. Behavioral therapy can work with parents on education and training to deal with behaviors that may be present. Occupational therapy (OT) can help in various ways as well. In OT, you or your child may:
- Engage in Attention Process Training or Interactive Metronome to address deficits with attention
- Create charts and/or daily to-do lists to help with remembering what needs to be done daily/weekly/monthly
- Work with the therapist to find the “just right challenge” to help you or your child engaged in work/school tasks