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Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, AD/HD)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (add-adhd, ADHD, AD/HD) is being diagnosed with increasing frequency in both children and adults. Many of these individuals were previously labeled hyperactive or minimally brain damaged. According to the American Psychiatric Association, it is estimated that there are approximately 1.6 to 2 million people who have this disorder.

The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association, classifies three types of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD (officially called Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or AD/HD).

  • AD/HD Predominantly Combined Type.
  • AD/HD Predominantly Inattentive Type Six of nine symptoms of inattention must be present for diagnosis.
  • AD/HD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type Six of nine symptoms of inattention must be present for diagnosis.

In each case, the symptoms must be present for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level. In addition, some symptoms must be present prior to age seven, and in two or more settings (e.g., at school, work and home). There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning, and the impairment cannot be caused by other disorders such as anxiety, psychosis or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Even though it is generally assumed that people diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD evidence a common set of characteristics emanating from a common etiology, little agreement is found among researchers regarding these symptoms. Some symptoms seen in children diagnosed as having attention deficits such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ADD-ADHD, AD(H)D, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or AD/HD):

  • Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Difficulty sustaining attention to tasks
  • Not listening to what is being said
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Losing and misplacing belongings
  • Fidgeting and squirming in seat
  • Talking excessively
  • Interrupting or intruding on others
  • Difficulty playing quietly.

These symptoms are also seen in both children and adults with learning-related visual problems and/or sensory integration dysfunction and/or undiagnosed allergies or sensitivities to something they eat, drink or breathe.