This post is intended to be an introductory overview of ADHD. Please note it is not a substitute for specific professional advice.
What is ADHD?
ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is a neurobehavioural disorder characterised by symptoms of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms usually occur together; however, one may occur without the others.
Three primary types of ADHD include the following:
- ADHD, impulsive/hyperactive type. This is the least common type of ADHD and characterised by impulsive and hyperactive behaviours without inattention and distractibility;
- ADHD, inattentive and distractible type. This type of ADHD is characterised predominately by inattention and distractibility without hyperactivity.
- ADHD, combined type. This is the most common type of ADHD, and is characterised by impulsive and hyperactive behaviours as well as inattention and distractibility;
What does ADHD look like?
Individuals with ADHD of the inattentive and distractible type might find it difficult to concentrate on tasks at school or work and may daydream frequently. They may have some or all the following behavioural tendencies:
- Make careless mistakes
- Are easily distracted
- Seem not to be listening when spoken to directly
- Have difficulty following instructions
- Have trouble with organising or planning
- Avoids or dislike sustained effort
- Frequently forgetful, often losing things
Individuals with ADHD of the impulsive/hyperactive type may have behavioural challenges and might struggle with social interactions. They may have behaviours such as:
- Fidgeting or squirming in their seat
- Difficulty staying in one place or waiting their turn
- Excessive running and climbing
- Trouble playing quietly
- Extreme impatience
- Very often seem to be “on the go” or “driven by a motor”
- Excessive talking or interrupting, blurting out answers
- Tend to make rash decisions
Individuals with the combined type of ADHD have symptoms of inattentive and impulsive ADHD.
Did you know?
People with ADHD can hyperfocus on things that they are very interested in.
Hyperfocus (intense concentration) is also the reason children with ADHD often get upset when asked to stop doing something they are engaged in, like a favourite activity at school or playing a video game. They have what experts call an inability to “attention switch,” which can cause conflicts with adults.
How can we help?
At LDS, we support learners with diagnosed or suspected ADHD, from children through to adults. With our inclusive, comprehensive, and specialized one-to-one instruction programs, we support learners in developing their academic and executive function skills in each session, boosting student’s attention and learning. Most students with ADHD have deficits in their executive functions such as working memory and attention, though not all children with executive function issues have ADHD.
For more information about our programs, access our programs page on the website.
– Sofia Lopez-Nakashima, Case Manager and Instructor
LDS is a community of dedicated professionals that write collaboratively. We recognize the contribution of unnamed team members for their wisdom and input.