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A complete Guide of ADHD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Tips for Parents & Teachers and Management

12 Jun 2016

What is ADHD? When does it surface in children?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neuro-developmental disorder that afflicts both children and adults. In children, it usually surfaces in the early stages of their development i.e. in the first five years of life. However, it is diagnosed at or beyond the age of 7 years. It is important to note here that children in the first five years of life also reflect similar tendencies as children suffering from ADHD reflect such as curious, explorative tendencies as well as lack of impulse control which can be wrongly interpreted as ADHD if diagnosed before 7 years.

ADHD is manifested as behavioral disturbance in children. ADHD is marked by child showing developmentally inappropriate disturbance in maintaining attention, and persistence in an activity/tasks in more than one situation (home, classroom, relatives etc) for a longer period (i.e. atleast 6 months).



What are the types of ADHD

As the name suggests, ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder constitute of three types i.e. predominantly Inattention type, predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive type and Combined type (According to American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5 edition (DSM-5))


What are the signs of an ADHD child?


Signs and symptoms that help in identifying ADHD are

(According to American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5 edition (DSM-5))



Inattentive Type: 6 or more symptoms of inattention must be present for upto age 16 years for the identification of ADHD, Inattention Type for atleast 6 months in multiple settings. Several symptoms must be present before age 12 years . These disturbances needs to be excessive when compared to same age and same IQ children

ü  Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.

ü  Trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.

ü  Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

ü  Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).

ü  Trouble organizing tasks and activities.

ü  Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

ü  Loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).

ü  Easily distracted

ü  Forgetful in daily activities.

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: 6 or more symptoms of Hyperactivity-Impulsiveness must be present for upto age 16 years for the identification of ADHD, Hyperactive-Impulsive Type for atleast 6 months in multiple settings. Several symptoms must be present before age 12 years. The activity level needs to be excessive in calm situations and by comparing same age and same IQ children.


ü  Fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.

ü  Leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.

ü  Runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).

ü  Unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.

ü  Is often "on the go" acting as if "driven by a motor".

ü  Talks excessively.

ü  Blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.

ü  Trouble waiting his/her turn.

ü  Interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)


Combined Type

It includes presence of enough symptoms of both the types for its diagnosis for atleast 6 months in multiple setting.


What are the causes of ADHD, explain in brief.


Knowledge related to the specific factors that cause ADHD is lacking. However, still some factors have been highlighted in the cases diagnosed of ADHD, we don’t know whether they cause or are just related to ADHD. These factors are genetic (runs in families) and complications during delivery i.e. low birth weight, premature baby, head injuries to baby during delivery, and mother drinking alcohol or smoking during pregnancy.


Just click the GREEN chat button on left and Type " ADHD" to connect instantly with a psychologist and enrol your child for assessment of ADHD and online management. 



What is the difference between general hyperactivity and ADHD? How can parents point out if their child is really suffering from ADHD?


Children tend to be overly active in number of situations. Often their overly active behavior can be misinterpreted or termed as ADHD by the parent. Parent needs to be cautious in identifying ADHD because such labels can undermine children’s self esteem and self confidence. To differentiate general hyperactivity from ADHD, parent needs to focus on these five criteria:

  1. Symptoms needs to be pervasive i.e. must be present in more than one situation (work, school, home etc)
  2. Symptoms needs to be excessive i.e. they must occur very frequently in less period  of time
  3. Symptoms must begin before the age of 12 years i.e. must start to surface in the first five years of life.
  4. Symptoms must be developmentally inappropriate i.e. symptoms are excessive when compared with same age and same IQ children
  5. Symptoms disrupt daily life functioning

If the above stated criteria is met, then parent can seek the help of  specialist i.e. psychiatrist or a clinical psychological for the diagnosis of ADHD at Our Video Based assessment and follow up questionnaires not only help diagnose ADHD but also give insight into what aspects in your chilrd require more attention 

Do parents now-a-days conclude everything as ADHD? What are the repercussions if a child is wrongly thought to have ADHD?


Sadly but yes, parents nowadays do conclude, without seeking the service of a specialist, that their child is suffering from ADHD.

If the child is being wrongly identified as suffering from ADHD by parent or anyone for that matter, it may negatively impact his/her self esteem and self confidence. Communicating to child with such labels may disturb parent and child relationship. Due to it, child may develop emotional or behavioral problems.


Two examples of situations when a)A child was thought to be just hyperactive but then was diagnosed with ADHD b) A child was thought to have ADHD but it was later realized it wasn’t.


Example of a situation where a child was thought to be just hyperactive but then diagnosed with ADHD

In school setting, there is a child who often tends to give out answers before others, he/she finds it difficult to wait for his/her turn in toilet, or at canteen even after being told or reminded by others several times, he/she does not complete his/her homework on time and copy class notes from blackboard on time, he/she does not bring notebooks, forgets to bring pencil and pens after repeated reminders and such behaviors are followed in home as well. These behavior may be term by teacher as misbehavior but in reality the child is  suffering from ADHD.


Example of a situation where a child was thought to have ADHD but it was later realized it wasn’t


Often child in school is different from what he/she is at home because he/she has other children to interact with. If the teacher is lenient or cannot discipline the class properly, then the child tends to wander around from his seat and speak to other children very often than being quiet. Teachers usually misinterpret these behaviors as ADHD, i.e. wandering around from seats and speaking to each other when he/she is expected to be quiet which in fact here should not be identified as ADHD because it is present only in one setting.


Children suffering from ADHD can be helped in following ways at home


Following suggestions will help the child


ü  ADHD symptoms become severe if the child is overly tired so it is important to make him less tired

ü  Environmental stimulation should be kept minimum because stress and tension are handled poorly by these children

ü  Daily routines should be simple, organized and consistently maintained

ü  Temper tantrums or aggressive behavior by such child must be met with firm, and consistent responses than punishment

ü  Help other family members understand about ADHD so that they do not react in undesired way

ü  Encourage small children to lie down and relax or play soothing music to them.

ü  Eliminate distractions- keep the child away from windows, open doors.

ü  Separate the child from peers who overstimulate the child. Help him/her choose peers who are calmer and who can model appropriate behaviors

ü  Have short activity periods with child

ü  Imagining exercises-ask the child to imagine the task that requires total attention to complete which will be followed by a reward. Then ask them to do the task and reward him

ü  Plan each day activities to reduce frustration and distractions

ü  Reward child for sitting for few minutes to reduce impulsive and distractible conduct

ü  Making clear and consistent rules and posting them at home


Children with ADHD can be helped in following ways at school by teachers

ü  A prompt approach to work (getting started on time)

ü  Rigid routine

ü  Special individual attention

ü  Consistent approach

ü  Direct praise and encouragement to child

ü  Direct commands

ü  Careful and short instructions

ü  Letting the hyperactive child be good in an activity

ü  Kindness

ü  Awareness of teacher on how to handle these children suffering from ADHD

ü  Replying to child’s responses in a neutral manner rather than wrong or right



How can ADHD be treated?


Therapy is believed worldwide to have a strong positive impact on child with ADHD. An ADHD therapist at ePsyClinic not only helps the child to feel calmer but also assigns, monitors, tracks concentration building activities in an individual online setting. Till Date ePsyClinic has successfully managed 1000 cases of children with ADHD. 

Just click the GREEN chat button on left and Type "ADHD" to connect instantly with a psychologist and enrol your child for assessment of ADHD and online management.