Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms ADD.

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Symptoms ADD

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The symptoms ADHD displays come in many forms and no two people display the same symptoms of ADD or ADHD. The symptoms of ADD or ADHD manifest itself in undue passivity or inattentiveness, or uncontrollable, aggressive hyperactivity.

Many people with the ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or ADHD may be unable to sit still, plan ahead, finish tasks, or be fully aware of what's going on around them. To their family, classmates and teachers, these people with the symptoms of ADD or ADHD seem to exist in a whirly-gig of disorganized or frenzied activity.

Physicians often use a checklist of symptoms to determine whether a person has ADD or ADHD. The Washington D.C.-based American Psychiatric Association lists 14 symptoms of ADD, of which at least eight ADD symptoms must be present for a child to be officially classified as Attention Deficit Disorder or ADHD.


  • Often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated.
  • Having difficulty remaining seated.
  • Having difficulty awaiting turn in games or group activities.
  • Often blurting out answers before questions are completed.
  • Having difficulty in following instructions.
  • Having difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Often shifting from one uncompleted task to another.
  • Having difficulty playing quietly.
  • Often talking excessively.
  • Often interrupting or intruding on others.
  • Often not listening to what is being said.
  • Often forgetting things necessary for tasks or activities.
  • Often engaging in physically dangerous activities without considering possible consequences.
  • Being easily distracted by extraneous stimuli.

The ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD are further broken into three specific categories, each with its specific clinical presentation that better describes a child’s behavior. These ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD categories are Inattentive Type (classic Attention Deficit Disorder), Hyperactive/Impulsive Type (classic Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and Combined Type (a combination of inattentive and hyperactive).

Inattention Symptoms of ADD:

  • Often fails to give close attention to details.
  • Often makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Often becomes easily distracted by irrelevant sights, sounds and extraneous stimuli.
  • Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace.
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities.
  • Often avoids tasks, such as schoolwork or homework, that require sustained mental effort.
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities, like school assignments, pencils, books, or tools.
  • Often is forgetful in daily activities.
  • Rarely follows instructions carefully and completely.
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.

People with symptoms of the inattentive type ADHD display difficulty keeping their mind on any one thing. They may get bored easily with a task and bounce to the next task, and the next task after that. Organizing and completing a task proves troublesome, though they may give undivided and effortless attention to activities and topics they enjoy. People with ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder often find that focusing deliberate, conscious attention to learning something new is extremely difficult.

As a result, homework may be agonizing for people with the symptoms of ADD. They might forget to write down assignments or bring home the right books to complete the assignments. When doing homework, people with the symptoms of ADD typically find their minds drifting every few minutes.

Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD Symptoms of Hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder:

  • Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  • Often runs, climbs or leaves seat in settings where remaining seated is expected.
  • Often runs about excessively in situations in where it is inappropriate.
  • Often has difficulty playing quietly in leisure activities.
  • Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor."
  • Often talks excessively.
  • Often blurts out answers before hearing the entire question.
  • Often has difficulty awaiting turn or for a turn.
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others at school or work and at home.
  • Often feels and acts restless.

People who display the symptoms of the types ADHD with hyperactive always seem to be in motion. Sitting still can be an impossible task. They may dash around, squirm in their seats, roam around the room or talk incessantly. They often do repetitive motions like wiggling their feet or tapping their pencil to bring them back to focus and burn off excessive energy. Many people who display the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactive feel intensely restless, fidget and may try to do several things at once, bouncing around from one activity to the next.

People who display the symptoms of ADD with impulsivity seem unable to curb their immediate reactions or think before they act. They may blurt out inappropriate comments or run into the street without looking. People with the symptoms ADD with impulsivity do not "look before leaping." They may grab a toy from another child or hit when they're upset. People who display the ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder with impulsivity may find it difficult to wait for things they want or to take their turn in games.

Combined ADHD vs ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder:

  • The ADHD Combined type includes a mix of ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD.

Parents should know that not every overly hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive child with the classic symptoms of ADD or ADHD has Attention Deficit Disorder. Everyone, at some point in his or her life, blurts out things they didn't mean to say, bounces around a number of tasks or become disorganized and forgetful.

Specialists typically consider excessive behavior that is long-term and pervasive when looking at Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms. But, what qualifies as excessive? What time frame do you set on ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder to qualify as long-term? Do the ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder occur in several settings or only in one specific place?

Physicians typically consider these factors before reaching an ADHD diagnosis:

  • Some symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder were present before the age of 7.
  • ADD Symptoms are present in two or more settings, whether school, social settings, work or at home.
  • There is clear evidence the symptoms of ADD cause a significant impairment functioning in these settings.
  • The ADD symptoms cannot be better accounted for by another mental disorders or medical condition. There are a number of mental and medical conditions that mimic the symptoms  ADD and ADHD.

Since the school environment demands concentration, attention, focus and extended periods of sitting still, teachers are often the first to notice ADD symptoms. However, a physician will administer a professional test of ADD symptoms before making a diagnosis on the symptoms of ADD. Although the symptoms of ADD seem fairly straightforward, several variances in diagnosis and rate of prescriptions sheds light to the subjective nature of Attention Deficit Disorder diagnoses.

Attention Deficit Disorder does not have clear physical signs that can be seen in an x-ray or a lab test so ADD and ADHD can only be identified by looking for certain characteristic behaviors – the ADD symptoms - and these behaviors vary from person to person.

The Attention Deficit Disorder test physicians use to diagnose is subjective and rests on observing the ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Attention Deficit Disorder ADD ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders among children. Although medical professionals widely agree that people do not outgrow Attention Deficit Disorder and the symptoms of ADD, pediatricians prescribe more than 50 percent of all amphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin). About 40 percent of all prescriptions for ADHD medications are written for children three to nine years of age.

Most experts claim that the true prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder ADD ADHD in the United States is about three to five percent, or roughly two million children. Currently, about six million children take prescription ADHD medication for the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. There are many others who use non-prescription ADHD remedies to address symptoms.

Boys are three times more likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, based on the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, and receive prescription stimulant ADHD medication. That boys are generally more rowdy and energetic than their traditionally calmer female counterparts should be no surprise to anyone accustom to living with or working with young children. The surprising element is the high rate of placing the ADHD label on boys with "symptoms of ADD" and the high rate of prescriptions written for boys with symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

Are boys just being energetic boys when they display symptoms of ADHD? Or, are there true physiological differences in boys that put them at a higher risk for Attention Deficit Disorder? Despite the high frequency of ADD and ADHD diagnosis in boys, studies to date do not confirm a strong physiological difference between the sexes.

Regions within the country vary in Attention Deficit Disorder diagnosis and prescription.

The United State Drug Enforcement Agency has a system that tracks Schedule II controlled substances from point of manufacture to pharmacy location.

This tracking system can determine the amount of methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall)   used per capita in entire states or by zip codes within a state.

The data shows wide variances in the use of Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine from one state to another and from one community to another within the states.

The DEA data identifies some regions with almost no ADHD medication use and other regions with 10 to 20 percent of student populations receiving stimulant ADHD medication for the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

In 1999, New England states grabbed five of the top 10 slots for most prescribed methylphenidate  (Ritalin) and four of the top 10 slots for amphetamine (Adderall) prescriptions.

A southern state appeared on each list once and only one western state made one list.

Below is the DEA 1999 ranking for the states with the highest use of methylphenidate and amphetamine per 100,000 population:

Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
1. New Hampshire
2. Vermont
3. Michigan
4. Iowa
5. Delaware
6. Massachusetts
7. South Dakota
8. Virginia
9. Minnesota
10. Maryland

Amphetamine (Adderall)
1. Delaware
2. Rhode Island
3. South Carolina
4. Wisconsin
5. Alaska
6. Missouri
7. Arkansas
8. Montana
9. Maryland
10. Virginia

Is there something in the New England water or do physicians there use a looser scale when looking at ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder when diagnosing children? Do children from southern and western states display less ADD symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or are the symptoms of ADD in these regions more widely accepted as the rites of childhood?

Attention Deficit Disorder ADD ADHD is identified as a national epidemic. Some people argue that the symptoms ADD displays do not point to a disease, but a personality type. Proponents of this line of thinking argue against medicating to make children exhibit "acceptable" behaviors.

Many physicians and parents alike believe the medical community, as a whole, over-diagnose the symptoms of ADD and over-prescribe ADHD medications. Many "newer school thinking" physicians believe parents should carefully study the ADD facts and findings and research the benefits and detriments of Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine and other ADHD medications before making a decision to medicate the child with symptoms of ADD.

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