What is ADD/ADHD
ADHD can be classified as patterns of behavior, that affect a person’s school and home life. These behavioral patterns can result in performance issues in work settings as well as social and educational settings. In the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), symptoms can be divided into two categories of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADD has the same classification as ADHD, but without the hyperactivity and impulsivity. These individuals may exhibit symptoms of hypoactivity.
Children must have at least six symptoms from either (or both) the inattention group of criteria and the hyperactivity and impulsivity criteria, while older adolescents and adults (over age 17 years) must present with five.
Inattention, or trouble focusing, is one symptom of ADHD. A child can be diagnosed as inattentive if the child:
Is easily distracted
Is forgetful, even in daily activities
Fails to give close attention to details in school work or other activities, including making Careless mistakes
Has trouble keeping attention on tasks or activities that do not interest them
Ignores a speaker, even when spoken to directly
Does not follow instructions, fails to finish schoolwork or chores, and loses focus or is easily Side-tracked
Has trouble with organisation
Dislikes and avoids tasks that require long periods of mental effort, such as homework
Loses vital things needed for tasks and activities (e.g., books, keys, wallet, phone)
The inattention applies mostly to tasks and situations that the child does not find stimulating or interesting. In fact, they can hyper-focus when they are busy with an activity that they enjoy, like a favourite hobby, building lego, being creative or playing video games.
It may vary with age. ADHD symptoms nearly always show up before middle school.
Kids with hyperactivity may:
Fidget and squirm when seated.
Get up frequently to walk or run around.
Run or climb a lot when it’s not appropriate. (In teens this may seem like restlessness.)
Have trouble playing quietly or doing quiet hobbies
Always be “on the go”
For toddlers and preschoolers with ADHD, it can be difficult to even sit still and listen to the story being told during story time. They have this constant need to be in motion and tend to jump on furniture, run or walk around during group activities that require them to sit still and could become disruptive.
School-age children have similar habits, but you may notice those less often. They are unable to stay seated, squirm a lot, fidget, or talk a lot.
Hyperactivity can show up as feelings of restlessness in teens and adults. They may also have a hard time doing quiet activities where you sit still. This need to be busy the entire time can cause them to feel anxious when they are in a situation where they have to sit still. The hyperactivity does not just apply to the physical motion of their bodies, but it also applies to their mind and one can say that it is difficult for them to find the “off switch” for all the thoughts that are racing through their minds.
Having a hard time waiting to talk or react
Have a hard time waiting for their turn.
Blurt out answers before someone finishes asking them a question.
Finish other people’s sentences for them
Frequently interrupt or intrude on others. This often happens so much that it causes problems in social or work settings.
Start conversations at inappropriate times.
Impulsivity can lead to accidents, like knocking over objects or banging into people. Children with ADHD may also do risky things without stopping to think about the consequences. You can say that many of these symptoms sometimes occur in most children. But for children with ADHD it happens more frequently and is not isolated to a certain situation or place. It can happen at school, home or while out shopping or visiting friends.
But getting a diagnosis of ADHD should not be all doom and gloom. There are many beneficial traits that should be mentioned. This includes:
Energetic: Individuals with ADHD are very often seen as people with energy that doesn’t seem to end. Many of the most successful athletes have ADHD.
Spontaneous: This trait can make them the life of the party and therefore liked by many people. They also break free from what is seen to be the norm.
Creative and inventive:
Alexander Graham Bell
The Wright brothers
The ability to hyper-focused: they can work on an interesting project until completion without breaking concentration.
There are several common characteristics or strengths found in many of these famous people with ADHD:
The person with ADHD needs assistance in harnessing these traits to their benefit. And they need guidance with the negative aspects that affect their social, school or work settings.
At Cognitive Learning, we achieve just that, by offering the Davis Attention Mastery™ program. It is not just a program that deals with the inability to focus but also addresses vital life concepts that are mostly lacking in a person with ADHD. It is these life concepts that helps them have better relationships with peers, teachers, family members and co-workers. It is behavioral therapy where the person discovers new insight into their behavior and how it affects other people. By applying the tools offered in the program and the new understanding of the concepts, the individual is able to recognize and change potentially self-destructing behaviors and replace bad habits with good ones.