ADHD—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental health diagnosis. It has three major subcategories—Inattentive Type, Impulsive Type and Combined Type. Some individuals who present with features of ADHD do not fit any of these subtypes. There are a variety of descriptions of what children and adults do that have untreated ADHD, and the diagnosis is based on the number of these descriptions that are observed or reported by others about what the individual does. However, these descriptions of what an individual does, descriptions that support the diagnosis of ADHD, can also describe what people do who are not ADHD. These individuals might have neurological problems, developmental problems, mood problems, anxiety problems and behavioral problems not attributable to ADHD. Some of the following descriptions of have been presented at initial clinical interviews in which the presenting concern was whether or not a person had ADHD. Just for fun, and for a little insight too, try answering the following questions about what you have seen a person do, a person you think might have ADHD. Use the following scale: A-Always; S-Sometimes; F-A few times; N-Never
- Just doesn’t listen.
- Doesn’t complete tasks.
- Forgets to take home school assignment sheets or to take to school completed homework.
- Can’t sit still.
- Draws pictures instead of doing class work.
- Does things without thinking about the consequences.
- Does not follow rules.
- Seems to have difficulty playing with others.
- Often interrupts.
- Complains that little things get in the way of doing things.
- Seen as careless.
Has trouble doing things in order; starts in the middle or on the easiest step in a multistep activity rather than doing first things first.
Answer Key: Nine A’s or S’s could be related to ADHD, or not. Ask another person to answer the same questions about the same person. If both sets of answers are nine or more A’s or S’s, it could be ADHD.
In any case, if you have a question that a person might meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD, good luck on getting them in to see a medical professional or clinical psychologist for a second opinion. They won’t want to go or minimize their problem, and, unless you take them, they will forget their appointment, or how to get to the appointment, or the time of their appointment, or their insurance card, etc.
If you have any other questions please contact our office and we will gladly answer further questions regarding ADHD.