Family Psychology Offices

2210 Line Avenue

Shreveport, Louisiana

ADHD/ADD

(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the related condition of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are neuro-developmental disorders that affects 5 to 8 percent of children and perhaps 2 to 4 percent of adults.  Usually evident in childhood, these conditions are manifested as developmentally inappropriate levels of impulsivity, and hyperactivity, and/or inattentiveness.  Not to long ago it was believed that people "outgrew" ADHD in adolescence, because the outward signs, such as hyperactivity, frequently become less apparent to others.  We now know that these conditions usually continue from childhood through the teen ages and that many symptoms continue into adulthood.

Although individuals with ADD/ADHD can be very successful in life, without identification and proper treatment, there can be serious consequences, including school failure, family stress and disruption, depression, problems with relationships, substance abuse, delinquency, risk for accidental injuries and job failure. Early identification and treatment are extremely important.

Diagnosing ADHD/ADD

From time-to-time, anyone have difficulty being still, paying attention or exercising self-control. However, for some people it is difficult so much of the time that it causes problems with their family and friends, in school, and at work.

Determining if someone has ADHD/ADDis a multifaceted process. Many many conditions can produce similar symptoms . For example, anxiety, depression and certain types of health problems or learning disabilities may look like ADHD/ADD. In some cases, such other conditions may actually be the cause of those symptoms.  At other times they may co-exist with ADHD/ADD.

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD or ADD. Rather, a physical examination from one's physician and a comprehensive psychological evaluation are necessary to make such a determination as well as to rule out other causes and determine the presence or absence of co-existing conditions. In order to be as accurate as possible, an evaluation for ADD/ADHD requires time and should include consideration of a person's school, social, psychological, and family circumstances. Checklists for rating ADD/ADHD symptoms are often used by physicians as screening instruments.  These checklists are useful in determining if a person shows the signs and symptoms of ADHD/ADD, but they do not provide enough data about other conditions or individual circumstances for a diagnosis to be made.

Checklists for ADHD/ADD screening are available at this web site.  For additional information, our page of Links of Interest has an internet link to the organization: C.H.A.D.D., an advocacy organization that provides an abundance of scientifically valid information.

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