ADD/ADHD

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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

The essential feature of this disorder is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that occurs more frequently and is more severe than what is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. Some symptoms must be present before the age of  7 years old in order for the full diagnosis to be made. The symptoms must be present in two or more settings (home, school, etc.) and there must be evidence of interference with functioning in those areas.

Common Symptoms Include

  • Inattention to details: makes careless mistakes on tasks.
  • Incomplete work on tasks
  • Difficulty maintaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Does not listen when spoken to directly
  • Difficulty organizing work.
  • Easily distracted
  • Often forgetful in daily activities
  • Often loses things such as pencils, paper, books, keys, etc.
  • Difficulty following more than one instruction at  at time.
  • Fidgeting, constantly moving.
  • Wandering away from seat
  • Difficulty participating in "quiet" activities
  • Runs and climbs in inappropriate situations
  • Talks excessively
  • May blurt out answers before the question has been completed
  • Difficulty waiting their turn
  • Interrupts others
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty delaying gratification
  • Apparent disregard for personal safety.

Adult ADD

Recent research has revealed that up to 70% of children diagnosed with ADD have symptoms that continue into adulthood.  Adults have similar symptoms of childhood ADD and report disturbance in home life and work. The treatment program for adults is very similar to strategies used with children.

Treatment

Medications such as Ritalin and Adderal are used for individuals diagnosed with ADD. These medications are categorized as stimulants. Other strategies for treatment include: structuring environments with lists, date books, tape recorders, notes to themselves, computers, etc; learning time-management skills; setting up a positive reward system; and education about what ADD is and how to cope with the symptoms.

Local Support Groups

Adult Support Group - Ted Baldick, Ph.D. 458-6291. Meets 1st and 3rd Mondays at 5:30 PM at 3978 Central Ave.
ADDult Support Group - Nancy Hutchinson 327-7224. Meets Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 PM at Prescott Baptist Church on 499 Patterson Ave. Rm 206A.

Recommended Reading

Driven to Distraction by Halowell and Ratey
Answers to Distraction by Hallowell and Rattey
Attention Deficit Disorder by Hartman
Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults by Weiss
Helping Your Hyperactive Child by Taylor