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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 

ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural syndrome characterised by hyperactivity and/or inattention leading to impairment in social, academic and occupational functioning. The core group of symptoms of ADHD include persistent impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.

For more information on the condition, see Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


adhd survey

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Evaluation Tool

Does your child have problems paying attention?
Do they fidget, talk a lot, or run around with seemingly endless energy?
Do they have trouble waiting their turn, and ‘butt into’ games or conversations?

If the answer to any of these is yes, you might want to find out whether your child is exhibiting symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). All children at some time or another will tend to be inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. However some children will exhibit these qualities most of the time, and more than their peers.

Please complete the survey below to find out if you need to consult your GP about these symptoms. It is important to keep in mind that symptoms of ADHD are often common in many energetic children; therefore it might help to compare your child to other children in the same age group.

  1. Does your child fail to pay attention to details during tasks? For example, a teacher may have reported careless errors in schoolwork.
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  2. Does your child have trouble sustaining attention during tasks or games? For example they appear to easily lose interest and become distracted.
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  3. Do they have trouble following through on instructions, and often fail to finish schoolwork, homework or chores?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  4. Do they have trouble listening, even when spoken to directly?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  5. Could your child be described using the following three words: forgetful; disorganised; or easily distracted?
    1. Yes, to all three
    2. Yes, to two only
    3. Yes, to one only
    4. None of these words could describe my child
  6. Does your child avoid or dislike activities that require sustained mental attention such as schoolwork or homework?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than other children of the same age
  7. Does your child fidget, squirm in their seat, or get up from their seat in situations where sitting still or remaining seated are expected?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  8. Does your child have difficulty ‘playing quietly’?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  9. Does your child act as if driven by a motor, often running or climbing excessively, and in situations where it is inappropriate?
    1. Yes
    2. Not more than any other child of the same age
  10.  Does your child talk excessively and/or blurt out answers before questions have been completed?
    1. Yes, to both
    2. Yes, to one only
    3. Not compared to children of the same age
  11.  Does your child have difficulty waiting their turn and/or interrupt or intrude on the conversations or games of others?
    1. Yes, to both
    2. Yes, to one only
    3. Not compared to children of the same age
  12.  On the scale below, please indicate how much you feel these symptoms impact on your child’s quality and enjoyment of their social and academic life
    (1 indicates that their life is not affected by the symptoms and 10 indicates their life is severely affected).

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

References: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association 2000.

Evaluation

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. You probably dont need to be concerned.

Evaluation

Your child is unlikely to be experiencing symptoms of ADHD. However, if you are concerned, you should show this survey to your GP at your next consult.

Evaluation

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP and take this survey with you for further discussion.

Evaluation

Your child may be experiencing some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms may be able to be managed by your doctor. You should book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible and take this survey with you for further discussion.

This information will be collected for educational purposes, however it will remain anonymous.

 

ADHD animation

ADHD animation ADHD is a common neurobehavioural problem that affects children and some adults. Some research suggests that the cause of ADHD is a genetic deficiency of certain neurotransmitters.

Click here to watch an animation about ADHD.


Recognising the symptoms of ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD Symptoms of ADHD are usually first recognised by parents, teachers and other caregivers. Diagnosis-based DSM-IV criteria is a good starting point; however, a formal psychological and educational assessment is more accurate and useful in identifying the diagnosis and needs of each child. 

For more information, see Recognising the symptoms of ADHD.  


Inattention 

Inattention Once, inattention was thought of as a problem only experienced by children. Now there is growing evidence that significant inattention effects many people of all ages. There are many symptoms of inattention, some very obvious and some more subtle. 

For more information on this symptom, see Inattention.


Hyperactivity 

Hyperactivity Hyperactivity is an excessive level of activity in people compared to what is normally expected for their age. Many normal children may at times be hyperactive or restless, but when the hyperactivity begins to affect performance in school, social relationships or behaviour at home, an underlying disorder may be suspected.

For more information on this symptom, see Hyperactivity.


Impulsivity 

Impulsivity Impulsive individuals tend to act without forethought. They may react rapidly and without planning, often without regard to the consequences on themselves or others. Some degree of impulsivity is considered normal in most people. Impulsive behaviour becomes significant when it is persistent, severe, and affects performance at work, in school or in social relationships.  

For more information on this symptom, see Impulsivity.


The family impact of ADHD 

Impact of ADHD The families of children with ADHD have to contend with a greater number of behavioural, developmental and educational disturbances. This often requires that more time, logistics and energy be spent. It is not surprising that these increased demands are frequently associated with more stress in marital and family functioning.

For more information on this symptom, see The Family Impact of ADHD.  

 


Stimulants for ADHD 

Stimulants for ADHD Psychostimulants are medications that increase the amount of chemical messengers to stimulate certain areas of the brain. There is good evidence that psychostimulants can reduce symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsitivity. It is essential that an accurate diagnosis of ADHD be made and confirmed before medication is commenced.

For more information on this treatment, see Stimulants for ADHD.


Concerta (methylphenidate) 

Concerta Concerta contains chemicals that can stimulate the central nervous system. When Concerta acts on the brain of a person with ADHD, it reduces the symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Concerta will also increase the concentration of a person with ADHD.

For more information on this medication, see Concerta.


Dexamphetamine

Dexamphetamine Psychostimulants enhance dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmission. In ADHD treatment, this aims to reduce functional impairment across a range of settings (including home, school and peer relationships) and minimise long term adverse effects on academic performance, vocational success, social and emotional development.

For more information on this medication, see Dexamphetamine.


Ritalin (methylphenidate)

Ritalin Ritalin is indicated for ADHD and narcolepsy. Used in ADHD treatment, it aims to reduce functional impairment across a range of settings (including home, school and peer relationships) and minimise long term adverse effects on academic performance, vocational success, social and emotional development. 

For more information on this medication, see Ritalin 10.


FAILSAFE diet for ADHD

FAILSAFE diet FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. The compounds eliminated from the FAILSAFE diet cause adverse reactions in food intolerant individuals, and can also lead to mood disorders, digestive disorders and sleeping problems. The FAILSAFE diet can reduce symptoms of hyperactivity in children with ADHD.

For more information on this symptom, see FAILSAFE Diet for ADHD.   


Supportive care

Learning and Attentional Disorders Society of WA (LADS) 

LADS The Learning and Attentional Disorders Society of WA (LADS) is a support, information and advocacy agency for people with ADHD and associated conditions. The Mission of LADS is to provide support, advocacy and accurate information to individuals, parents, families and all people affected by ADHD and associated conditions. 

For more information on this group, see LADS.

ADDults with ADHD (NSW) Inc. 

ADDults with ADHD ADDults with ADHD (NSW) Inc. is a non-funded voluntary organisation established in 1995 to address the needs of adults with ADHD and other related conditions, and their families. It is the only organisation specifically supporting adults with ADHD in Australia. 

For more information on this group, see ADDults with ADHD.