April 6, 2023

All About ADHD

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is estimated that 5% to 10% of children worldwide have ADHD. In Canada, approximately 5% of children and 2.5% of adults have been diagnosed with this condition.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a disorder that affects attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The symptoms of ADHD are persistent and can have a negative impact on a person's daily life, including their ability to focus, learn, and socialize. The symptoms of ADHD usually appear before the age of 12 and can continue into adulthood.

What are the 9 symptoms of ADHD?

The 9 symptoms of ADHD are categorized into two main types: inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

The symptoms of inattention include:

  1. Difficulty paying attention to details and making careless mistakes
  2. Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  3. Not listening when spoken to directly
  4. Difficulty following through on instructions and failing to finish tasks
  5. Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  6. Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort
  7. Losing things necessary for tasks or activities
  8. Being easily distracted by external stimuli
  9. Forgetfulness

The symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity include:

  1. Fidgeting with or tapping hands or feet
  2. Difficulty staying seated
  3. Running or climbing excessively
  4. Difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  5. Being always on the go
  6. Talking excessively
  7. Blurting out answers before questions have been completed
  8. Difficulty waiting for their turn
  9. Interrupting or intruding on others.

What are 3 signs of ADHD in Children?

It can be challenging to identify ADHD in children, as many of the symptoms of ADHD are normal behaviours for children. However, if you notice the following three signs, you may want to consider seeking a professional evaluation:

  1. Difficulty with focus and attention: Children with ADHD may have difficulty concentrating on tasks or following instructions. They may also have difficulty completing homework, listening in class, or organizing their belongings.
  2. Impulsive behaviour: Children with ADHD may act impulsively, without thinking through the consequences of their actions. They may interrupt others, speak out of turn, or engage in risky behaviour.
  3. Hyperactivity: Children with ADHD may be restless and have difficulty sitting still. They may squirm in their seats, fidget with objects, or run around excessively.

What causes ADHD in the brain?

The exact cause of ADHD is still unknown. However, it is believed that genetics, environmental factors, and brain structure play a role in the development of ADHD. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD have differences in the structure and functioning of certain areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum.

Is ADHD a form of autism?

ADHD and autism are two separate conditions that share some similar symptoms. While both conditions can affect a person's social skills and behaviour, ADHD is primarily a disorder of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, while autism is a disorder of social communication and behaviour. Although some individuals with ADHD may have traits of autism, the two conditions are distinct and require different approaches to treatment.

What is an ADHD person like?

Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty with focus and attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. They may struggle with time management, organization, and planning. They may also have difficulty regulating their emotions, leading to mood swings or outbursts. Despite these challenges, individuals with ADHD can be highly creative, energetic, and enthusiastic.

Types of ADHD

There are three types of ADHD: inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined type. Understanding the differences between the types can help individuals and their loved ones better understand their symptoms and develop effective treatment plans.

It's important to note that the severity and presentation of symptoms can vary widely among individuals with ADHD, regardless of their type. A professional evaluation and personalized treatment plan can help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms and improve their daily life.

ADHD Treatment

ADHD can be effectively managed with a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medication can help improve attention, reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity, and improve mood. Therapy can help individuals with ADHD learn new coping strategies, develop organizational skills, and improve social and communication skills. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep hygiene, can also help reduce symptoms of ADHD.

How Archways help you with ADHD

Archways Centre for CBT is a psychology practice based in London, Ontario that provides psychoeducational assessments for children, adolescents and adults. Following the assessment and diagnosis we can make recommendations for following up with your family doctor (for medication),  and/or some ADHD coaching, or CBT at Archways. It is important to first be assessed thoroughly to guide treatment recommendations.

Archways Centre for CBT currently offers a hybrid model of in-person and virtual sessions using secure video. However, psychoeducational assessments do require you or your child to be seen in-person for a full day of testing. 

In conclusion, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. It is characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While the exact cause of ADHD is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and brain structure. ADHD can be effectively managed with a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Archways Centre for CBT is a psychology practice that offers psychoeducational assessments and evidence-based therapies to help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms and improve their daily life.

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