Typically developing/active child or ADHD?
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults. It is described as a “persistent” or on-going pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that gets in the way of daily life or typical development. Individuals with ADHD may also have difficulties with maintaining attention, executive function (or the brain’s ability to begin an activity, organize itself and manage tasks) and working memory.
The symptoms of ADHD often overlap with symptoms of other mental and physical health conditions. When a parent reports, “He can’t focus,” or “She can’t finish her homework,” is the underlying cause ADHD, anxiety, a reading problem, or within developmental norms? To assess ADHD and develop treatment plans, clinicians evaluate specific symptom areas and try to determine how long the symptoms have been present and how much impairment they cause.