What Meds

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) / Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

The essential feature of ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. Inattention may be manifest in academic, occupational, or social situations. Individuals with this disorder may fail to give close attention to details or may make careless mistakes in schoolwork or other tasks.

The individuals may make frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another, then turn to yet something else, prior to completing any one task. They often do not follow through on requests or instructions and fail to complete schoolwork, chores, or other duties. Failure to complete tasks should be considered in making this diagnosis only if it is due to inattention as opposed to other possible reasons (e.g., failure to understand instructions, defiance). As a result, these individuals typically avoid or have a strong dislike for activities that demand sustained concentration (e.g., homework or paperwork).

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is known to occur in various cultures, with variations in reported prevalence among Western countries probably arising more from different diagnostic practices than from differences in clinical presentation. Many doctors feel that it is difficult to establish this diagnosis in children younger than age 4 or 5 although research is ongoing.

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