Approximately 11% of the population has been diagnosed as having ADHD in the U.S. But, those numbers seem to be on the rise, currently it is estimated that 5% of children entering school have ADHD
However, clinicians warn, do not test children when they are too young. “Parents and teachers as well as clinicians who are undertaking ADHD assessments should keep in mind the child’s relative age. “
The three primary characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Symptoms of Inattention
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Symptoms of Hyperactivity-Impulsivity
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
Remember, there are a lot of issues in life that can produce these same symptoms…having a few of these symptoms does not prove positive that you or your child has ADHD.
- these symptoms were present before you were 12
- the symptoms are severe and present in multiple settings (i.e. home and school)
- these symptoms interfere with your ability to function socially, academically or at work
The same symptoms may be caused by learning disabilities or problems with reading, writing, motor skills, or language; major life events or traumatic experiences (a recent move, death of a loved one, bullying, divorce); psychological disorders including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder; behavioral disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder; medical conditions, including thyroid problems, neurological conditions, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.
The good news is that Play Attention has developed a helpful tool to reduce the negative impact of the symptoms in your life. We recognize the the uphill battle that many face when dealing with ADHD at school or in the office. And, that’s why we are here to help.
We, have begun offering a new tool called FOCUS. It is a computerized measurement of “Attentional Control”, i.e. an individual’s capacity to choose what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Attentional control is the ability to remain focused on goal-relevant stimuli and information in the presence of potentially interfering distractions (visual and auditory). FOCUS tests, administered by our certified professionals, can help pinpoint areas of weakness in a client’s Attentional control. Furthermore, we can use that information to help customize their Play Attention plan. The FOCUS assessment in conjunction with the Play Attention suite, brings structured practice of Attentional control, behavior shaping, and neurofeedback technology comfortably within your family’s reach.