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Definition of ADHD/ADD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is prevalent in approximately 7% of the child population and 5% of the adult population. There are three main presentations of ADHD: ‘combined’, which has inattention and hyperactivity, ‘predominately hyperactive’, which has a much greater deal of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour, and ‘predominately inattentive’. The latter has the greatest impact on distraction in adults.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD/ADD
In children there are many signs of ADHD, the most common are:
Fidgeting in school and being continuously told by the teacher to sit down, or not to blurt things out.
Falling out with friends on a regular basis, but also being the joker of the class and making friends easily.
Not being invited to parties (young children).
Forgetting or losing things.
Not being able to focus on homework.
Continually getting into trouble at school.
Having difficulty sleeping and continually getting out of bed
The symptoms of ADHD in adults can be less obvious than those in children. The most common are:
Spending money without thought, continually changing jobs and having many different partners in relationships. If driving, skipping a red light or speeding.
Unable to handle stress or easily losing your temper.
Constantly fidgeting, restlessness and may require less sleep.
Easily losing things or forgetting important tasks, this can affect your job and or relationships.
Treatment of ADHD
There is no ‘cure’ for ADHD, but treatment is centred on managing the symptoms and minimising the difficulties that can arise as a result of this disorder. Treatment for ADHD can be medication, stimulants or non-stimulants, a talking based therapy, dietary and exercise intervention, or a combination of them all (the evidence for the latter two can vary).
An initial 1 hour assessment followed by a 30 minute follow up, during which a diagnosis can be made/clarified and any required medication can be prescribed.
(For children) a SNAP IV report will be sent to your child’s school (if applicable) for them to fill in, ONLY if you are in agreement, after the initial assessment.
(For children) school will be contacted after the initial assessment ONLY if you are in agreement.
ADHD self rating scale will be filled in after the initial assessment, if you are an adult.
Weight and height taken.
Psychoeducation strategies will be offered and in addition a bibliography of self-help books will be provided.
Medication may be discussed and prescribed during the first follow up appointment if necessary and agreed.
If Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) or family therapy is required a referral will be made.