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AD/HD: Diagnosis and Treatment

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What is AD/HD? How is it Diagnosed? How is it treated?

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Solution Summary

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)is described in terms of characteristics, diagnostic criteria (DSM-TR) and treatment modalities.

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1. What is AD/HD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is a condition affecting children and adults that is characterized by problems with attention, impulsivity, and overactivity. It affects between 3-7 percent of schoolage children, and between 2-4 percent of adults.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is the current diagnostic label for a condition that has been recognized and studied for over a century. Over the years, it has been known by several other names inlcuding "brain damaged syndrome," "minimal brain dysfunction (MBD)," "hyperkinetic impulsive disorder," and "attention deficit disorder."

The scientific literature documenting the reality of this condition is immense.

AD/HD vs ADD: AD/HD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is the current and correct term for this condition. Current terminology recognizes three subtypes of AD/HD (inattentive, hyperactive, and combined). While some individuals, including many professionals, still refer to the condition as ADD (attention deficit disorder), this term is no longer in widespread use. For those who may have been diagnosed with ADD, the corresponding label, using current terminology, would mostly likely be either AD/HD-inattentive type or AD/HD-combined type (American Psychiatric Association)

2. How is it Diagnosed?

Diagnostic Criteria for the three primary subtypes are summarized as follows (DSM IV-TR):

AD/HD predominately inattentive type: (AD/HD-I)
· Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes.
· Has difficulty sustaining attention.
· Does not appear to listen.
· Struggles to follow through on instructions.
· Has difficulty with organization.
· Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort.
· Loses things.
· Is easily distracted.
· Is forgetful in daily activities.

AD/HD predominately ...

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