What is it?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed when a client exhibits a developmentally inappropriate level of attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Problems must begin before 7 years of age and persist in at least 2 different settings for at least 6 months for the diagnosis to be considered. There are a wide range of behaviors that fit into this diagnosis, and it is common for a child to be referred by school personnel for comprehensive evaluation.

Key Points:

• Diagnosis should be based on a comprehensive assessment by a physician

• Prevalence depends upon how strictly diagnostic criteria are applied

• Symptoms vary with age as a result of demands placed on the child

• 2/3 of clients have a coexisting condition such as anxiety or depression

• Certain foods or other substances may aggravate symptoms

• ADHD can affect children, adolescents, and adults

• Tends to run in families

• Research shows that the brain develops at a different rate in ADHD clients

• Can cause difficulties in learning, or a learning disability may coexist

How do we treat it?

ADHD may be more than just a neurological condition or learning problem. Often, an adrenal (hormonal) imbalance contributes to the symptoms. The adrenal glands produce cortisol, the hormone that regulates the fight-or-flight response in the body. If the adrenals are not in balance, the mind and body cannot generate an appropriate stress response. As a result, the ADHD client experiences hyperactivity and lack of focus. As your adrenal function comes into balance and the rest of your health challenges are addressed, your focus, concentration and memory will become more dependable and more consistent.

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