Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is defined in terms of three types:

  1. Attention deficit with hyperactivity
  2. Attention deficit without hyperactivity (inattentive)
  3. Combined type (inattentive and hyperactive)

AD/HD is diagnosed by a comprehensive assessment including:

  • behavioral symptom checklists (the Conner’s checklist is commonly used). Both parental and teacher’s checklists should be completed and analysed for significant behavioral symptoms common to a diagnosis of ADHD.
  • A psychometric assessment will clarify specific areas of weakness which is prevalent in a child with AD/HD, and differentiate between a learning disability and an attention deficit disorder. (AD/HD and learning difficulties often occur together)
  • An emotional investigation would clarify if difficulties in this area are manifesting in similar behavioral symptoms of AD/HD.
  • A full scholastic and early history of the child needs to be analysed to ascertain any other contributing factors which could be manifesting in similar behavioral symptoms.

ADHD is a neurological condition which is rooted in the child’s inability to perform successfully, activities and tasks which require executive functions. Disorganisation, distractibility, lack of impulse control, lack of self motivation, inability to self monitor and pace oneself with respect to time constraints are common to this disorder and can seriously impact on the child’s ability to perform effectively in the classroom. If this condition is not treated appropriately, it can have serious negative effects in the developing child. Self-esteem can be negative, due to constant classroom failure despite inner intelligence. Treatment of ADHD should be done in a holistic manner. A medical doctor needs to be consulted if symptoms are severe as possible medical intervention could be required. Diet and behavioural modification systems all contribute to the holistic treatment of this neurologically complex condition.