Fundamentals Of ADHD


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has many subtypes. You can identify the subtype of ADHD based on the predominant symptoms shown by a person. It can either be attention-deficit, hyperactivity-impulsivity, or a combination of the symptoms. Remember that not only children can be affected by ADHD, but teenagers and adults as well.


Main Categories Of Symptoms

  • Inattention

People with ADHD may have trouble focusing on one activity and are easily distracted by external stimuli. They may seem forgetful and absent-minded, which makes it difficult for them to finish activities that they started. Following directions is also challenging for them. In an interview, Ari Tuckman, PsyD, explains, “So someone who struggles with inattentive symptoms of ADHD would be things like… obviously it’s stuff like trouble concentrating, easily distracted; but it’s also things like disorganized, poor time management, forgetful; trouble starting tasks and then if they start it, trouble finishing it, so they procrastinate a lot; losing things, stuff like that.”

  • Hyperactivity

People who are hyperactive may find it difficult to sit still or be quiet for even a short period of time. They talk and move excessively, often at inappropriate times. Also, they often have trouble accomplishing tasks quietly and in one place due to extreme restlessness.

  • Impulsivity

Children who are impulsive may make hasty decisions without thinking about the long-term consequences.  They might engage in activities that are reckless which often interrupt other people. Also, people with ADHD have difficulty waiting for their turns.

“It’s like they have a motor winding them up,” says Clinical Psychologist Roberto Olivardia. “Words like ‘Energizer Bunny,’ ‘Speedy Gonzalez’ and the ‘Roadrunner’ are common nicknames to describe the never-ending vessel of energy ADHD kids exhibit.”


Spotting ADHD


It is normal for children to be easily distracted and to be hyperactive sometimes. If these symptoms go beyond what is normal for their age, affect and interfere with their everyday lives and cause them to struggle with their academics and their relationships with other people, it might be the right time to pay a visit to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to have their symptoms checked.


Dealing with ADHD

ADHD is a developmental disorder that lasts throughout a person’s life. But although there is no cure for it, there are ways to make the life of a person with ADHD easier. Symptoms can be managed through counseling, therapies, medications, and of course, support and understanding from parents, their family and friends.

Dealing with people, especially children, with ADHD can be quite challenging, but always remember that these behaviors are not intentional and are not caused by low comprehension/intelligence or bad parenting.

People with ADHD do not choose to behave the way they do and can’t control their impulses. ADHD is mostly caused by genetics which means it tends to run in the family.


The first step to help someone suffering from ADHD (and other mental disorders) is to understand what it is and what it isn’t. Dealing with people suffering from ADHD would be easier if you could put yourself in their shoes and understand what they are going through.

Some coping mechanisms for children, teenagers, and adults alike include making to-do lists, organizing school and work supplies, and keeping routines of the things they do every day to gain a sense of control in their lives.

It is essential to be patient, not get frustrated with them, and to respond calmly to situations because children with ADHD tend to be highly emotional and sensitive to pressure and stress. With proper assistance, love, and understanding, they can grow bigger than their disorder and eventually live a normal and happy life.

As Merriam Saunders, LMFT wrote in her blog, “Small adjustments in parenting can cause major differences in a child’s social and physical environment, resulting in a better family dynamic.”