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What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

At times, all children have problems paying attention, sitting still, and not interrupting others. However, for a number of children these difficulties continue as they get older, are more extreme than for other children their age, and significantly interfere with their lives. In fact, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders of childhood worldwide, affecting about 5% of children. Research also shows that 40-60% of these children also struggle with anxiety, depression, learning, and social relationships.

high school girl looking down at a blank piece of paper seeming frustrated

The Three Presentations of ADHD

  • Predominately Inattentive Presentation (previously called ADD)
  • Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation (least common)
  • Combined Presentation (most common; both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive)

Research shows that early identification and treatment is essential in preventing ongoing difficulties with learning, mood, self-esteem, and sustaining positive relationships.

How Can We Help? What Is Involved in ADHD Testing?

At Reframe Psychology Clinic, we routinely complete comprehensive ADHD assessments. Assessments are in-depth and look at different areas that a child with ADHD may struggle with, such as their attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, behavior, relationships, and learning. A psychoeducational assessment may also be needed as many students with ADHD also have a learning disability. Information from multiple sources is essential in ADHD testing. Strictly basing an ADHD assessment on a questionnaire completed by parents and a teacher is not enough and is unreliable. Thorough testing allows psychologists to gather enough information to make informed recommendations to parents and teachers about how to maximize a child’s functioning in all areas of their life.

What Are Some Signs of ADHD?

Inattentive Symptoms:

  • easily distracted or sidetracked
  • difficulties staying focussed for at least 20 minutes
  • avoidance of tasks that require sustained mental effort, including homework
  • difficulties starting or finishing a task
  • difficulties following instructions
  • careless errors are common
  • seem not to be listening when spoken to
  • disorganization
  • loss of belongings
  • low motivation

Hyperactive-Impulsive Symptoms:

  • often fidgety or squirmy
  • trouble sitting still or staying in seat
  • often on the “go” and extremely active
  • talk too much
  • blurt out answers before questions have been fully asked
  • difficulties taking turns
  • interrupting others when they are speaking
  • difficulties getting along with others
  • easily frustrated
  • very impatient
Learn More About Reframe Psychology Clinic