The Center for Disease Control lists a number of different symptoms of ADHD. According to the CDC, if patients of a certain age exhibit a percentage of these symptoms over a period of time, then they are candidates for an ADHD diagnosis. Trained practitioners are supposed to be able to analyze these and make a determination.
These symptoms, taken from the CDC website, are as follows:
People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:
- Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities.
- Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16, or five or more for adolescents 17 and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
- Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
- Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
- Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
- Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
- Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
- Often talks excessively.
- Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
- Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
- Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
Is it ADHD or is the child in pain?
Now, when you or I look at this list, we can see that it contains many common childhood behaviors. Further, these symptoms share traits with symptoms of pain as well.
For example, if you or I are forced to sit in a hard wooden chair for a 3-hour stretch and our backs began to hurt, we would begin to fidget. We’d get impatient and would interrupt people. We’d want to stand and stretch.
However, this is exactly the situation in many classroom environments. Our children could be in pain and lack the language to share what is happening.
It is up to us to correctly analyze and address the true causes for the trouble.
Poor nutrition can cause ADHD symptoms
Think about the last time you failed to eat lunch. How attentive were you?
What occurs if you drink a soda and eat 3 candy bars? Do you get distracted easily?
These are acute, momentary instances that demonstrate how poor nutrition can impact mental facility. Chronic nutritional deficiency can have the same effects.
Analysis needed to determine the source of ADHD symptoms
I’ve heard reports of some ADHD diagnoses occurring within the course of a 10-minute interview.
Of course, this is not enough time for a proper analysis of symptoms.
I offer a Student Health Analysis, which is a full examination that includes a look at any possible causes for ADHD symptoms. I also then explore any possible natural, drug-free solutions to the symptoms that are presented. Call my office today to set an appointment. (636) 391-1611