Is your child’s activity level spinning out of control? Maybe your husband’s temper tends to run off the rails, or you, yourself, might find it difficult to concentrate on what someone is trying to tell you.
If anything like this sounds familiar, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be to blame. Better known as ADHD, this condition adversely affects behavior by shortening attention spans and taking the brakes off impulse control.
In recent years, its incidence has continued to climb. As of 2011, at least 6.4 million children in the United States had received the diagnosis. The prevalence varies by region, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, it measures 7 percent or higher in every state but Nevada.
Neuropsychological Testing, ADHD-Style
The condition is responsible for inciting a wide range of behaviors. Fortunately, there are tests to determine whether your or a loved one does or does not suffer from ADHD. When symptoms can very so widely, these evaluation methods must be of sufficient scope to permit an accurate diagnosis. The most useful ones will assess an individual’s:
- Sensory processing ability
- Cognitive skills
- Academic performance
- Emotional maturity
In addition to measuring the severity of the symptoms, structured testing methods will evaluate when they began, how long they’ve existed and under what circumstances they usually appear.
The Symptoms of ADHD in Children
When children can’t sit still, follow instructions or refrain from making left-field comments at inappropriate times, it’s easy to believe that their parents are to blame. What people often fail to understand is that many of these children have little control over their behavior. ADHD has taken it away.
In addition to an inability to relax or play quietly with other children, children with ADHD will often tend to engage in:
- Excessive talking
- Impulsive behavior
- Squirming, fidgeting or jumping entirely out of their seats
- Sudden outbursts of temper
However, this is not always the case. Some children with ADHD have no problem sitting still. Instead, their disorder manifests as an inability to pay attention. These children will:
- Be easily distracted
- Have problems getting organized or finishing what they start
- Tend to misplace their possessions
- Find it difficult to comprehend what others are saying
Symptoms of ADHD in Adults
Contrary to popular belief, ADHD is not limited to the younger set. The symptoms frequently continue beyond the age of 17. Adults who have never received a diagnosis often fail to recognize that their problems with organizational skills, punctuality and anger management can indeed be symptomatic. However, ADHD usually originates in youth. Anyone who exhibits these symptoms after attaining majority will likely have experienced them since childhood.
Experts suspect adult ADHD in patients who:
- Struggle with organizational tasks
- Drive recklessly
- Experience marital difficulties
- Cannot concentrate in noisy surroundings
- Find it difficult to listen
- Often feel tense and unable to relax
- Are incapable of prioritization
- Have a quick temper
- Tend to procrastinate
Is it ADHD or Something Else?
Are these symptoms always indicative of ADHD? Only a professional can make that determination. With careful and accurate neuropsychological testing, ADHD can be more accurately diagnosed. If you think that you or someone you love is acting inappropriately, these tests will assist in determining whether the behavior is or is not normal.
Don’t Lose Hope
Always keep in mind that ADHD sufferers are often extremely imaginative, flexible and beloved for their enthusiastic and spontaneous personalities. Their wide range of interests can fascinate others, and their energy and drive frequently inspire those around them.
For sufferers, however, the experience is not as pleasant. They often yearn for relief, and an accurate diagnosis can be the first step toward obtaining it. Contact us to learn more about ADHD testing. Thanks to the availability of modern medical and behavioral therapies, this condition doesn’t have to cramp anyone’s style.