Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder typically characterized by inattentive, hyperactive and/or impulsive behaviors.

Common Symptoms

Difficulty concentrating

For an ADHD assessment, the psychologist will gather your child’s history and background of symptoms, review appropriate records (i.e.  medical, psychological and/or academic) and conduct a variety of tests. Questionnaires, rating scales, and measures of cognitive ability, executive functioning, memory and sustained attention all may be part of the assessment. Additionally, questionnaires may be sent, or interviews conducted, with collateral informants (i.e. teachers, therapists, family members). 

 

The DSM-5 lists three presentations of ADHD—Predominantly Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined. The symptoms for each are adapted and summarized below.

 

ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

 

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes

  • Has difficulty sustaining attention

  • Does not appear to listen

  • Struggles to follow through with instructions

  • Has difficulty with organization

  • Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort

  • Loses things

  • Is easily distracted

  • Is forgetful in daily activities

ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair

  • Has difficulty remaining seated

  • Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults

  • Difficulty engaging in activities quietly

  • Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel inside as if they are driven by a motor

  • Talks excessively

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed

  • Difficulty waiting or taking turns

  • Interrupts or intrudes upon others