ADHD is a sensitive topic for a lot of people and many doctors and behavioural therapists still associate the condition with one of poor impulse control and rather than with that of a neurological condition.

That is likely to change soon with the Centre of Disease Control, (CDC), recently releasing an article stating that in fact ADHD is not only a  neurological issue but that there are in fact 3 sub types of the disorder..

Now most children tend to be forgetful and have trouble focusing at one point or another, however when the problem becomes persistent, a primary diagnosis may be made. The generic symptoms for ADHD include:

-       Frequent daydreaming

-       Forgetfulness and a tendency to loose things

-       The desire to squirm and fidget

-       Excessive talking

-       Reckless behaviour and/ or taking unnecessary risks

-       Struggles with impulse control

-       Difficulty maintaining relationships

While your GP may be able to help with a general diagnosis, a specialist (neuropsychologist or psychiatrist) will need to be consulted if the first line of treatment is found to be ineffective.

During such a consultation the physician in question will be able to identify which of the following types of ADHD your child has. They include:

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the child to organise or complete tasks, to pay attention to fine detail and to follow detailed instructions. The child is also inclined to easily become distracted and fail to participate in daily routines.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The child in question struggles with remaining still and is prone to fidgeting. Staying seated to complete tasks or eat a meal is normally a challenge. Younger children are likely to be in a constant state of flux; running, jumping and climbing. The hyperactive-impulsive type may also exhibit more “attention seeking” behaviours by grabbing things from people and speaking out inappropriately. The impulsive aspect of the condition is also likely to result in the child having more accidents and injuring themselves on a more frequent basis.

Combined Presentation: A combination of symptoms found in the above to types are concurrently present, however because symptoms can change over time the presentation of the disorder may change as well.

ADHD is present in 50% of the children in our high school so the first thing we stress when meeting a new parent who has received a diagnosis from their doctor that their child is suffering from ADHD is not to panic. The condition, while scary, is easy to manage and we use a combination of tactile workspaces, seating arrangements and individual education programmes to help the child in question effectively concentrate and learn. We also work in conjunction with medical doctors and dieticians, where needed, to adjust the child’s medical needs and nutritional requirements.

So if you’re struggling, let us know. Set up an appointment with Tracey and we’ll happily sit down with you to discuss your needs and how we can best help!


[1] The ADHD Molecular Genetics Network. Report from the third international meeting of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder molecular genetics network. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2002, 114:272-277