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Attention Dedicit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and ADD)

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders for children. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (e.g., acting without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. ADHD interferes with development or functioning, and is present across at least two settings, such as at home and at school. (e.g, home, school, relationships). The symptoms of ADHD are present before the age of 12 years. However, in some instances the diagnosis may not be made until adolescence. The symptoms of ADHD may lead to difficulties at school across academic, behavioural and social domains, and may lead to social isolation and poor self-esteem.

Common Symptoms

  • Difficulty following instructions or conversations

  • Difficulty staying on task

  • Difficulty listening

  • Losing items frequently

  • Difficulty with organisation and planning

  • Forgetfulness, including forgeting daily routines

  • Difficulty finishing tasks

  • Difficulty paying attention to details

  • Overactivity (smaller children may run, jump and climb constantly)

  • Fidgeting, inability to stay seated, excessive talking, restlessness

  • Intrusion into other people's space or activities

  • Inability to wait

  • Frequent daydreaming

  • Difficulty resisting tempation

  • Difficulty with turn-taking

  • Frequently interrupting others

  • Difficulty maintaining friendships



The symptoms associated with ADHD are excessive for the child's age or developmental level.  Untreated ADHD often persists into adulthood, with resultant impairments in social, academic and occupational functioning.


Assessment and Diagnosis of ADHD

Early diagnosis results in early treatment which enables children with ADHD and ADD to reach their potential during childhood, adolescence and aldulthood.

The diagnosis of ADHD is a process involving a number of steps. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms. In addition, ADHD frequently overlaps with other disorders such as an anxiety disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and learning disorders.

It is important to begin the process of assessment by visiting your G.P. to have a medical examination and hearing and vision tests. Next, the psychologists at Poutlon Respondek Clinical Psychology can assess the specific range of problems your child is experiencing, and will determine whether your child's difficulties are due to ADHD or other psychological issues. We will provide a comprehensive assessment involving an interview with parent/s and the child, and possibly a teacher, clinical observations, and questionnaires that may completed by parents, older children, and teachers.

Treatment for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD varies in accordance with the types of symptoms your child experiences, the severity of symptoms, and your childs overall needs. Children with mild ADHD and little additional developmental, behavioural or emotional concerns, often respond well to behavioural and family interventions. In a number of cases, a combination of medication and behaviour therapy is the most successful treatment.  Alternatively, parenting strategies may be recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is considered. 

ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity d
Useful Information  


What is ADHD?  More on symptoms, types, diagnosis and treatment

How ADHD presents differently in girls

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