Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that usually develops in childhood; it is often characterised by inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity, which affect social functioning.
Symptoms of ADHD
There are two subtypes of ADHD – hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention. For the hyperactivity/impulsivity subtype, symptoms include:
Interrupting other people
Frequent fidgeting or restlessness
Moving around constantly in the classroom
These symptoms are often noticeable by the age of four and may persist till the age of eight. Teachers may notice these behaviours in school as they often disrupt their classroom teaching.
For the inattention subtype, symptoms include:
Often appearing to be daydreaming
Inattention to details
Inability to organise or follow through with tasks
Easily distracted by other things
The recommended treatment varies according to the age. For children aged 4 to 5, the initial treatment is usually behavioural therapy. For those aged 6 and above, stimulant medications in adjunct to behavioural therapy will often be effective. Treatment requires the cooperation of parents, the school, peers, medical professionals, and counsellors to be effectively implemented. With compliance to treatment and close monitoring, the prognosis for ADHD in these patients is quite good. Most of them will not experience a significant functional impairment to their lives.